Science, Form, and the Problem of Induction in British Romanticism
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Part of Cambridge Studies in Romanticism
- Author: Dahlia Porter, University of Glasgow
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Exploring a topic at the intersection of science, philosophy and literature in the late eighteenth century Dahlia Porter traces the history of induction as a writerly practice - as a procedure for manipulating textual evidence by selective quotation - from its roots in Francis Bacon's experimental philosophy to its pervasiveness across Enlightenment moral philosophy, aesthetics, literary criticism, and literature itself. Porter brings this history to bear on an omnipresent feature of Romantic-era literature, its mixtures of verse and prose. Combining analyses of printed books and manuscripts with recent scholarship in the history of science, she elucidates the compositional practices and formal dilemmas of Erasmus Darwin, Robert Southey, Charlotte Smith, Maria Edgeworth, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. In doing so she re-examines the relationship between Romantic literature and eighteenth-century empiricist science, philosophy, and forms of art and explores how Romantic writers engaged with the ideas of Enlightenment empiricism in their work.Read more
- Explores how and why authors of Romantic-era literature adopted compositional practices from experimental science
- Delivers a new perspective on a long-standing area of inquiry by reconsidering the importance of Enlightenment empiricism to Romantic period literature
- Investigates the connection between contemporary concerns about digital media and early nineteenth-century debates about mass print
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- Date Published: July 2018
- format: Adobe eBook Reader
- isbn: 9781108314466
- availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Romanticism's composite orders
1. Knowledge, text, mind: a history of inductive method
Part I. Making Texts: The Annotated Poem:
2. Erasmus Darwin's prose of the world: induction and the philosophical poem
3. Poetics of the commonplace: Robert Southey's analogical romance
The First Landing Place: Prose Notes and Embedded Verse
Part II. Making Minds: Poetry in Prose:
4. Methodizing the mind: experimental education and the poetic excerpt
5. Coleridge and literary criticism: the pains of induction
Final Landing Place: The Composite Incarnate.
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