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Language, Mind and Nature

Language, Mind and Nature
Artificial Languages in England from Bacon to Locke

$139.00 (C)

Part of Ideas in Context

  • Author: Rhodri Lewis, Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin
  • Date Published: July 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521874755

$ 139.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • In the attempt to make good one of the desiderata in Bacon's Advancement of Learning, a cohort of seventeenth-century philosophers, scientists, schoolmasters, clergymen and virtuosi attempted to devise artificial languages that would immediately represent the order of thought. This was believed directly to represent the order of things and to be a universal characteristic of the human mind. Language, Mind and Nature is a 2007 text which fully reconstructs this artificial language movement. In so doing, it reveals a great deal about the beliefs and activities of those who sought to reform learning in seventeenth-century England. Artificial languages straddle occult, religious and proto-scientific approaches to representation and communication, and suggest that much of the so-called 'new philosophy' was not very new at all. This study broke important ground within its field, and will interest anyone concerned with early modern intellectual history or with the history of linguistic thought in general.

    • Reconstruction of the attempts to create artificial languages in seventeenth-century England, taking in a wide range of published and unpublished sources
    • Was the first study to place the artificial language movement in its proper intellectual, social, political and religious contexts
    • An important re-evaluation of early modern ideas about language, natural philosophy and religion
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Lewis has written the most diversely documented history of the 17th-century language planning movement... [a] superb piece of scholarship. It will endure alongside many of the excellent works cited, and it does build systematically on the works of the immediate past. It is the latest word in an ever increasing conversation about the 17th-century language planning."
    -Joseph L. Subbiondo, Historiographia Linguistica

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2007
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521874755
    • length: 288 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.59kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    Note on the text
    1. Introduction: the idol of the market
    2. Hartlibian beginnings
    3. From Oxford to the Royal Society
    4. Discursus: artificial languages, religion and the occult
    5. The Essay: Wilkins's 'Darling'
    6. After the Essay: reception, revision, frustration and failure
    7. Conclusion: from Pansophia to comprehension
    List of manuscripts

  • Author

    Rhodri Lewis, Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin

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