Kostomaroff, Nicholas (1817-1885), a brilliant Russian historian, the
founder of the Federalist school in the study of Russian history.
Lamarck, Jean Baptiste (1744-1829), French naturalist. He made
an attempt at giving & complete classification of both the animals and
plants. Having constructed a complete system, which was based on the
variability of the animal and vegetable species ("Philosophic Zoologique"),
he must be considered as the chief forerunner of Darwin. He explained
the variation of organisms by their capacity to accommodate themselves
to their surroundings, as also by their use or disuse of their different
organs—an idea which was bitterly combatted by Cuvier.
Laplace, Pierre (1749-1827), one of the greatest astronomers and
mathematicians of all ages. His chief .works are: "Exposition of a
System of the Universe," in which he explained the probable, purely
physical origin of our solar system out of a mass of incandescent gaseous
matter; and "Treatise of Celestial Mechanics." He solved all problems
of astronomy purely by a physical analysis.
Lavoisier, Antoine (1743-1794), great French founder of chemistry.
Was the first to decompose water into its component elements, oxygen
and hydrogen. Studied the theory of burning, of heat, and of fermentation. Was the first to prove the indestructibility of matter by experiment.
Chief work: " Traite elementaire de Chimie" (1789).
Lewes, George Henry (1817-1878), English physiologist and philosopher, who treated the problems of mind on a physiological basis, and
was possessed of an admirable gift for popular exposition of scientific
matter. Chief works : "Problems of Life and Mind " (which includes a
volume given to "The Physical Basis of Mind"), "History of Philosophy,"
and "Physiology of Common Life."
Littri, Maximilian Emile (1801-1881), French philosopher and
philologist. Was a warm follower of Auguste Comte's Positive philosophy, and did much to popularise it. Compiled the great monumental
dictionary of the French language.
Lomonosoj), Mikhail (1711-1765), Russian writer in most varied
branches. Author of odes, a Russian grammar, works of history, and
several important works on physics, mineralogy, chemistry, and physical
geography. In one of these last (on the Arctic regions) he expressed very
definitely the mechanical theory of heat.
Lyell, Charles (1797-1875), renowned English geologist. His great
work, "Principles of Geology," which has gone through many editions,
was epoch-making, as it established beyond doubt, contrarily to the
theories then current, the slow and gradual modifications of the earth's
surface, through the accumulation of agencies now at work. He thus
prepared the mind to accept the theory of evolution, advocated later on by
Darwin. His work, " Antiquity of Man," published in 1863, established
the great antiquity of the first human-like beings, and the fact of a
Quaternary Glacial Period.