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Stephen Gray

(1656—1736) experimental philosopher


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Stephen Gray was born in Canterbury. He died on 25 February 1736. Until quite recently very little has been known of Gray apart from his twenty-one articles and letters published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society between 1696 and 1736 (Gray was made FRS in 1732). The recent discovery of previously unpublished letters and manuscripts has, however, allowed historians to fill in many of the gaps. Gray was born to an upwardly mobile family: his grandfather had been a carpenter; his father was a dyer; Stephen and his brother Thomas took over their father's dyeing business; another brother, Matthias, rose to the rank of mayor. For much of his life, Stephen's scientific interests had to take second place to his profession.

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From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Philosophy.


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