Science in the Age of Sensibility
The Sentimental Empiricists of the French Enlightenment
By (author) Jessica Riskin
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Science in the Age of Sensibility by Jessica Riskin
Book DescriptionEmpiricism today implies the dispassionate scrutiny of facts. But Jessica Riskin finds that in the French Enlightenment, empiricism was inimately bound up with sensibility. In what she calls a "sentimental empiricism", natural knowledge was taken to rest on a blend of experience and emotion. Riskin argues that sentimental empiricism brought together ideas and institutions, practice and politics. She shows, for instance, how the study of blindness, led by ideas about the mental and moral role of vision and by cataract surgeries, shaped the first school for the blind; how Benjamin Franklin's electrical physics, ascribing desires to nature, engaged French economic reformers; and how the question of the role of language in science and social life linked disputes over Antoine Lavoisier's new chemical names to the founding of France's modern system of civic education. Recasting the Age of Reason by stressing its conjunction with the Age of Sensibility, Riskin offers an entirely new perspective on the development of modern science and the history of the Enlightenment.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780226720791
(229mm x 152mm x 20mm)
Imprint: University of Chicago Press
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Publish Date: 13-Dec-2002
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Jessica Riskin
Nature Engaged, Hardback (November 2012)
This volume gathers essays that focus on the worldliness of science, its inseparable engagement in the major institutional bases of social life: law, market, church, school, and nation.
Genesis Redux, Paperback (July 2007)» View all books by Jessica Riskin
Since antiquity, philosophers and engineers have tried to take life's measure by reproducing it. This title collects seventeen essays from distinguished scholars in several fields. It is intended for historians and philosophers of science and technology, scientists and engineers working in artificial life and intelligence, and others.
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Author Biography - Jessica Riskin
Jessica Riskin is assistant professor of history at Stanford University.
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