The Experimental Imagination : Literary Knowledge and Science in the British Enlightenment / Tita Chico.
- Stanford, CA : Stanford University Press, 
1 online resource (256 pages)
- English literature -- 18th century -- History and criticism.
Enlightenment -- Great Britain.
Knowledge, Theory of -- History -- 18th century -- Great Britain.
Knowledge, Theory of -- Great Britain -- History -- 18th century.
Literature and science -- History -- 18th century -- Great Britain.
Literature and science -- Great Britain -- History -- 18th century.
- Local subjects:
- British Enlightenment.
- In English.
- System Details:
- Mode of access: Internet via World Wide Web.
text file PDF
- Challenging the "two cultures" debate, The Experimental Imagination tells the story of how literariness came to be distinguished from its epistemological sibling, science, as a source of truth about the natural and social worlds in the British Enlightenment. Tita Chico shows that early science relied on what she calls literary knowledge to present its experimental findings. More radically, she contends that science was made intellectually possible because its main discoveries and technologies could be articulated in literary terms. While early scientists deployed metaphor to describe the phenomena they defined and imagination to cast themselves as experimentalists, literary writers used scientific metaphors to make the case for the epistemological superiority of literary knowledge. Drawing on literature as well as literary language, tropes, and interpretive methods, literary knowledge challenges our dominant narrative of the scientific revolution as the sine qua non of epistemological innovation in the British Enlightenment. With its recourse to imagination as a more reliable source of truth than any empirical account, literary knowledge facilitates a redefinition of authority and evidence, as well as of the self and society, implicitly articulating the difference that would come to distinguish the arts and sciences.
1. Literary Knowledge
2. Immodest Witnesses
3. Scientific Seduction
4. Political Science
5. When Science Becomes Literature
- Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page (publisher's Web site, viewed 15. Sep 2020)
- De Gruyter.
- Contained In:
- De Gruyter University Press Library.
- Publisher Number:
- 10.1515/9781503606456 doi
- Access Restriction:
- Restricted for use by site license.
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