What influence has Joseph Priestley had on modern philosophy?

What is the contribution of Joseph Priestley?

Priestley (1733-1804) was hugely productive in research and widely notorious in philosophy. He invented carbonated water and the rubber eraser, identified a dozen key chemical compounds, and wrote an important early paper about electricity.

What were Joseph Priestley’s religious beliefs?

Priestley recalls religious devotion on the part of his parents, his uncle and his aunt. However, while Priestley shared his family’s religiosity and remained a committed believer all his life, he was profoundly affected by early theological doubts.

Was JB Priestley a philosopher?

Materialist philosopher

Priestley wrote his most important philosophical works during his years with Lord Shelburne.

What gas did Joseph Priestley discover?


Through ingenious design, he studied reactions of gases under electrical spark. Priestley was one of the first scientists who discovered oxygen. In 1774, he prepared oxygen by heating mercury oxide with a burning glass. He found that oxygen did not dissolve in water and it made combustion stronger.

What inspired J. B. Priestley?

Priestley’s political views were heavily influenced by the West Riding’s strong Nonconformist socialist traditions, embodied by the Bradford Pioneer newspaper and epitomised by his schoolteacher father, Jonathan.

What were J. B. Priestley’s political views?

During the 1930’s Priestley became very concerned about the consequences of social inequality in Britain, and in 1942 Priestley and others set up a new political party, the Common Wealth Party, which argued for public ownership of land, greater democracy, and a new ‘morality’ in politics.

What big change in society did Priestley help to bring about?

In the 1930’s, Priestley became very concerned about the consequences of social inequality. During 1942, he and others set up a new political party, the Common Wealth Party, which argued for public ownership of land, greater democracy, and a new ‘morality’ in politics.

What was J. B. Priestley’s message in An Inspector Calls?

J.B Priestley was a socialist and believed that everyone should look after each other and be a community. Priestley’s aim is to show the audience how being self centred and arrogant leads to trouble and that there is a better way of improving the life of others.

What influenced J. B. Priestley to write Inspector Calls?

J. B. Priestley was inspired to write An Inspector Calls because he did not like the social situation in Britain after World War II and he sought to…

How does Priestley explore the importance of social responsibility in An Inspector Calls?

Social responsibility: Priestley uses the play as a vehicle for his belief that we should help those who are less fortunate than us. This is a key principle of socialism. He believes capitalism focuses too much on individual gain.

What influenced An Inspector Calls?

‘ Whilst some progress was made after the First World War, society did not come far enough, and just over twenty years later in 1939, the Second World War broke out. Priestley, who was a well-established writer and social commentator by this time, was prompted to write An Inspector Calls.

What is the social context of An Inspector Calls?

Edwardian Society and Social Norms at the time

An Inspector Calls was written in 1945, however, it is set in 1912 and reflects the Edwardian era. King Edward ruled from 1901 to 1910, but the Edwardian era itself spans from the mid-1890s to 1914, the year when WW1 began.

What is the importance of the inspector in the play?

The Inspector serves multiple functions with the play: To make the character confess their actions. To control and encourage speech and movement on stage. To instigate moments of tension and intrigue.

Why is An Inspector Calls an important play?

This is the key moral point of the play. Priestley’s message is that we all have a duty to society and it will collapse if we don’t honour that duty.

What do you think is the importance of the opening of An Inspector Calls?

During the opening scene of ‘An Inspector Calls’ J.B Priestly uses various methods and techniques to hint to the audience about what was likely to happen in the latter stages of the play.

What effect is priestly trying to achieve through the setting of the play?

Priestley was concerned to present as realistic a stage set as possible, giving detailed and lengthy stage directions at the beginning of Act One. The effect is that of a typical prosperous middle-class dining room of the period, portraying stability, prosperity and convention.

How does Priestley present the inspector as the most important character?

Priestley uses Inspector Goole as an imposing omnipotent being who is used to highlight the issues of society. Priestley wants the middle and upper classes to stop being selfish and exploiting the poor for their own financial gain, but instead be more generous and empathetic towards other members of the working class.

How does Priestley create mood and atmosphere?

J.B Priestley creates mood and atmosphere between the characters in the presented extract by giving the characters unique reactions and responses towards Inspector Goole. In Mrs. Birlings response towards the inspector, she seems to be more stern and forward, above everyone else.

How does Priestley create a powerful and dramatic entrance for the inspector which changes the atmosphere of the play?

Priestley uses a change in lighting to show the change in atmosphere that the Inspector’s arrival brings: ‘The lighting should be pink and intimate until the INSPECTOR arrives, and then it should be brighter and harder. ‘

How do you think Priestley wants the audience to react to the inspector when they first see him enter?

Priestley’s message

Priestley wanted his audience to dislike Mr Birling and to see him as a fool. By rejecting the attitudes held by Mr Birling, Priestley’s audience would lead a more responsible, socialist life.