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Literature, Language, and the Rise of the Intellectual Disciplines in Britain, 1680–1820

$103.00 (C)

  • Date Published: October 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521767026

$ 103.00 (C)
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About the Authors
  • The divide between the sciences and the humanities, which often seem to speak entirely different languages, has its roots in the way intellectual disciplines developed in the long eighteenth century. As various fields of study became defined and to some degree professionalized, their ways of communicating evolved into an increasingly specialist vocabulary. Chemists, physicists, philosophers, and poets argued about whether their discourses should become more and more specialised, or whether they should aim to remain intelligible to the layperson. In this interdisciplinary study, Robin Valenza shows how Isaac Newton, Samuel Johnson, David Hume, Adam Smith, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth invented new intellectual languages. By offering a much-needed account of the rise of the modern disciplines, Robin Valenza shows why the sciences and humanities diverged so strongly, and argues that literature has a special role in navigating between the languages of different areas of thought.

    • New interpretations of the writings of Newton, Hume, Wordsworth, and Coleridge
    • Addresses the origins of conflicts between the sciences and the humanities
    • Will appeal to historians of science and philosophy as well as to literary critics
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    Reviews & endorsements

    Review of the hardback: 'Her lively, lucid explorations of Newtonian science, Scottish philosophy and Romantic poetics offer some provocative new perspectives on the organisation of knowledge in the long eighteenth century; they also invite her academic readers to temper the scepticism of the specialist with the more conversible qualities of intellectual agility and lightly worn eclecticism.' Review of English Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2009
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521767026
    • length: 250 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.51kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The economies of knowledge
    2. The learned and conversible worlds
    3. Physics and its audiences
    4. Philosophy's place between science and literature
    5. Poetry among the intellectual disciplines
    Coda: common sense and common language
    Works cited
    Index.

  • Author

    Robin Valenza, University of Wisconsin, Madison

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