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Empiricism And The Early Theory Of The Novel

Author : Roger Maioli
ISBN : 9783319398594
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 66.11 MB
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This book is about the empiricist challenge to literature, and its influence on eighteenth-century theories of fiction. British empiricism from Bacon to Hume challenged the notion that imaginative literature can be a reliable source of knowledge. This book argues that theorists of the novel, from Henry Fielding to Jane Austen, recognized the force of the empiricist challenge but refused to capitulate. It traces how, in their reflections on the novel, these writers attempted to formulate a theoretical link between the world of experience and the products of the imagination, and thus update the old defenses of poetry for empirical times. Taken together, the empiricist challenge and the responses it elicited signaled a transition in the longstanding debate about literature and knowledge, as an inaugural round in the persisting conflict between the empirical sciences and the literary humanities.
Category: Literary Criticism

The Body As Object And Instrument Of Knowledge

Author : Charles T. Wolfe
ISBN : 9048136865
Genre : Science
File Size : 25.16 MB
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It was in 1660s England, according to the received view, in the Royal Society of London, that science acquired the form of empirical enquiry we recognize as our own: an open, collaborative experimental practice, mediated by specially-designed instruments, supported by civil discourse, stressing accuracy and replicability. Guided by the philosophy of Francis Bacon, by Protestant ideas of this worldly benevolence, by gentlemanly codes of decorum and by a dominant interest in mechanics and the mechanical structure of the universe, the members of the Royal Society created a novel experimental practice that superseded former modes of empirical inquiry, from Aristotelian observations to alchemical experimentation. This volume focuses on the development of empiricism as an interest in the body – as both the object of research and the subject of experience. Re-embodying empiricism shifts the focus of interest to the ‘life sciences’; medicine, physiology, natural history. In fact, many of the active members of the Royal Society were physicians, and a significant number of those, disciples of William Harvey and through him, inheritors of the empirical anatomy practices developed in Padua during the 16th century. Indeed, the primary research interests of the early Royal Society were concentrated on the body, human and animal, and its functions much more than on mechanics. Similarly, the Académie des Sciences directly contradicted its self-imposed mandate to investigate Nature in mechanistic fashion, devoting a significant portion of its Mémoires to questions concerning life, reproduction and monsters, consulting empirical botanists, apothecaries and chemists, and keeping closer to experience than to the Cartesian standards of well-founded knowledge. These highlighted empirical studies of the body, were central in a workshop in the beginning of 2009 organized by the unit for History and Philosophy of Science in Sydney. The papers that were presented by some of the leading figures in this area are presented in this volume.
Category: Science

The Empiricists A Guide For The Perplexed

Author : Laurence Carlin
ISBN : 9781847061997
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 56.45 MB
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A concise and accessible introduction to the key empiricists of the 17th and 18th centuries, ideal for undergraduate students.
Category: Philosophy

Empiricist Devotions

Author : Courtney Weiss Smith
ISBN : 9780813938394
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 43.10 MB
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Featuring a moment in late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century England before the disciplinary divisions that we inherit today were established, Empiricist Devotions recovers a kind of empiricist thinking in which the techniques and emphases of science, religion, and literature combined and cooperated. This brand of empiricism was committed to particularized scrutiny and epistemological modesty. It was Protestant in its enabling premises and meditative practices. It earnestly affirmed that figurative language provided crucial tools for interpreting the divinely written world. Smith recovers this empiricism in Robert Boyle’s analogies, Isaac Newton’s metaphors, John Locke’s narratives, Joseph Addison’s personifications, Daniel Defoe’s diction, John Gay’s periphrases, and Alexander Pope’s descriptive particulars. She thereby demonstrates that "literary" language played a key role in shaping and giving voice to the concerns of eighteenth-century science and religion alike. Empiricist Devotions combines intellectual history with close readings of a wide variety of texts, from sermons, devotional journals, and economic tracts to georgic poems, it-narratives, and microscopy treatises. This prizewinning book has important implications for our understanding of cultural and literary history, as scholars of the period’s science have not fully appreciated figurative language’s central role in empiricist thought, while scholars of its religion and literature have neglected the serious empiricist commitments motivating richly figurative devotional and poetic texts. Winner of the Walker Cowen Memorial Prize for an Outstanding Work of Scholarship in Eighteenth-Century Studies
Category: Literary Criticism

Empiricism And Subjectivity

Author : Gilles Deleuze
ISBN : 0231068131
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 86.62 MB
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At last available in paperback, this book anticipates and explains the post-structuralist turn to empiricism. Presenting a challenging reading of David Hume's philosophy, the work is invaluable for understanding the progress of Deleuze's thought. -- David Allison, State University of New York, Stony Brook
Category: Philosophy

Furnishing The Mind

Author : Jesse J. Prinz
ISBN : 0262264110
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 32.50 MB
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Western philosophy has long been divided between empiricists, who argue that human understanding has its basis in experience, and rationalists, who argue that reason is the source of knowledge. A central issue in the debate is the nature of concepts, the internal representations we use to think about the world. The traditional empiricist thesis that concepts are built up from sensory input has fallen out of favor. Mainstream cognitive science tends to echo the rationalist tradition, with its emphasis on innateness. In Furnishing the Mind, Jesse Prinz attempts to swing the pendulum back toward empiricism.Prinz provides a critical survey of leading theories of concepts, including imagism, definitionism, prototype theory, exemplar theory, the theory theory, and informational atomism. He sets forth a new defense of concept empiricism that draws on philosophy, neuroscience, and psychology and introduces a new version of concept empiricism called proxytype theory. He also provides accounts of abstract concepts, intentionality, narrow content, and concept combination. In an extended discussion of innateness, he covers Noam Chomsky's arguments for the innateness of grammar, developmental psychologists' arguments for innate cognitive domains, and Jerry Fodor's argument for radical concept nativism.
Category: Philosophy


Author : Joel Wainwright
ISBN : 9781137301734
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 87.1 MB
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Geopiracy delivers a critique of the 'Bowman expeditions'—a project through which geographers, with funding from the US Army, are mapping the 'human terrain' of foreign lands. Since the beginning of the controversy surrounding the Bowman expeditions, the discipline of geography has been rocked by debates concerning research methods, the military, and the effects of geospatial technologies on everyday life. Although the 'Oaxaca controversy' has fomented intense discussions, the questions it raises are far from resolved. Why have geographers remained so quiet about the resurgence of military funding for geographical research? Wainwright argues that the underlying problem stems from our epistemic commitment to empiricism. Much as some would like to deny it, many geographers are executing their own 'expeditions' in the spirit of Isaiah Bowman, the early 20th-century geographer who shaped the discipline's empiricist epistemology while helping the US to build its empire (and from whom the Expeditions take their name). Geopiracy is a critique of the disciplinary conditions of possibility of the Bowman expeditions and a critical analysis of the political economy of geographical research and the epistemological basis of contemporary fieldwork. In a word, Geopiracy offers a postcolonial critique of human geography today—one that draws on contemporary social theory to raise unsettling questions about the nature of geography's disciplinary formation.
Category: Political Science

The Blank Slate

Author : Steven Pinker
ISBN : 1101200324
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 43.80 MB
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A brilliant inquiry into the origins of human nature. "Sweeping, erudite, sharply argued, and fun to read..also highly persuasive." -Time Now updated with a new afterword One of the world's leading experts on language and the mind explores the idea of human nature and its moral, emotional, and political colorings. With characteristic wit, lucidity, and insight, Pinker argues that the dogma that the mind has no innate traits-a doctrine held by many intellectuals during the past century-denies our common humanity and our individual preferences, replaces objective analyses of social problems with feel-good slogans, and distorts our understanding of politics, violence, parenting, and the arts. Injecting calm and rationality into debates that are notorious for ax-grinding and mud-slinging, Pinker shows the importance of an honest acknowledgment of human nature based on science and common sense.
Category: Psychology

Pierre Gassendi S Philosophy And Science

Author : Saul Fisher
ISBN : 9789004119963
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 64.22 MB
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This study of Gassendi's philosophy and science puts forth the view that his atomism follows from his empiricism: as an outgrowth of our best theory of knowledge and sound scientific method, we get evidence that warrents the micorphysical theory.
Category: Philosophy

Fictional Matter

Author : Helen Thompson
ISBN : 9780812248722
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 60.86 MB
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Fictional Matter argues that chemical definitions of particulate matter shaped eighteenth-century British science and literature. In this lucid, revisionary analysis of corpuscular science, Helen Thompson advances a new account of how the experimental production of empirical knowledge defined the emergent realist novel.
Category: Literary Criticism