The Sciences in Enlightened Europe
Radically reorienting our understanding of the Enlightenment, this book explores the complex relations between "englightened" values and the making of scientific knowledge. Here monsters and automata, barometers and botanical gardens, polite academics and boisterous clubs, plans for violent wars and for universal peace, are all relocated in the landscape of enlightened Europe. The contributors show how changing forms of discipline, machinery, and instrumentation affected the emergence of new kinds of knowledge; consider how institutions of public rate taste and conversation helped provide a common frame for the study of human and nonhuman natures; and explore the regional operations of scientific culture at the geographical fringes of Europe. Covering a wide range of scientific disciplines, both in the principal European countries and in areas peripheral to Europe, the book also includes ample illustrations and an extensive bibliography. Implicated in the rise of both fascism and liberal secularism, the moral and political values that shaped the Enlightenment remain controversial today. Through careful scrutiny of how these values influenced and were influenced by the concrete practices of its sciences, this book gives us an entirely new sense of the Enlightenment. -- from back cover.
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