The Social History of Skepticism
Experience and Doubt in Early Modern Culture
By (author) Brendan Dooley
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Social History of Skepticism by Brendan Dooley
Book DescriptionDo new information technologies always produce progress and enlightenment? No, at least according to observers in 17th-century Europe. Brendan Dooley demonstrates in this study that the transformation of information about present and past politics into a saleable product - whether in the form of hired histories or in the form of journalism - turned writers into speculators, information into opinion and readers into critics. The result, he says, was a powerful current of scepticism with extraordinary consequences. Combined with late-17th-century developments in other areas of thought and writing, it produced scepticism about the possibility of gaining any historical knowledge at all. Joining the history of ideas to the history of journalism and publishing, Dooley sets out to discover when early modern people believed their political informants and when they did not. He examines some of those who got the information first: the manuscript gossip writers of Rome and Venice. He then examines the writers of printed gazettes, who bought their own information or else received it from those in power. He examines historians, both of independent means and employed by governments, and the episodes - political, social and cultural - that caused them to write. He examines the readers who knoew better than what they read, and the cultural critics, such as Pierre Bayle, who bemoaned the politicization of truth. The sceptical outcome, he shows, helped bring about a historiographical reform movement that introduced theories and techniques that are still in use today for discovering the past.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780801861420
(229mm x 152mm x 21mm)
Imprint: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publish Date: 7-Sep-1999
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Brendan Dooley
Mattress Maker's Daughter, Hardback (March 2014)
In explaining an improbable liaison and its consequences, A Mattress Maker's Daughter explores changing concepts of love and romance, new standards of public and private conduct, and emerging attitudes toward property and legitimacy just as the age of Renaissance humanism gives way to the Counter Reformation and Early Modern Europe.
Dissemination of News and the Emergence of Contemporaneity in Early Modern Europe, Hardback (August 2010)
How were time and space conceived before modernity? When did this begin to change in Europe? To help answer such questions, this volume looks at the exchange of information and the development of communications networks at the dawn of journalism, when widespread public and private networks first emerged for the transmission of political news.
Morandi's Last Prophecy and the End of Renaissance Politics, Hardback (April 2002)» View all books by Brendan Dooley
Chronicles Orazio Morandi's fabulous rise and fall against the backdrop of enormous political and cultural turmoil that characterized Italy in the early seventeenth century. This book documents a world in which occult knowledge commanded power and reveals widespread libertinism behind monastery walls.
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Author Biography - Brendan Dooley
Brendan Dooley is an associate professor in the Department of History at Harvard University.
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