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Vitalizing Nature in the Enlightenment

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Vitalizing Nature in the Enlightenment

Format

Hardback

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Vitalizing Nature in the Enlightenment by Peter H. Reill
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Description

This far-reaching study redraws the intellectual map of the Enlightenment and boldly reassesses the legacy of that highly influential period for us today. Peter Hanns Reill argues that in the middle of the eighteenth century, a major shift occurred in the way Enlightenment thinkers conceived of nature that caused many of them to reject the prevailing doctrine of mechanism and turn to a vitalistic model to account for phenomena in natural history, the life sciences, and chemistry. As he traces the ramifications of this new way of thinking through time and across disciplines, Reill provocatively complicates our understanding of the way key Enlightenment thinkers viewed nature. His sophisticated analysis ultimately questions postmodern narratives that have assumed a monolithic Enlightenment - characterized by the dominance of instrumental reason - that has led to many of the disasters of modern life.

Author Biography

Peter Hanns Reill is Professor of History and Director of the Center for Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he is also Director of the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library. Reill is author of The German Enlightenment and the Rise of Historicism (1975), and editor or coeditor of What's Left of Enlightenment? A Postmodern Question (2001), Wissenschaft als kulturelle Praxis, 1750-1900 (1999), Encyclopedia of Enlightenment (1996), and Visions of Empire: Voyages, Botany, and Representations of Nature (1996).
Release date Australia
May 10th, 2005
Country of Publication
United States
Imprint
University of California Press
Pages
398
Dimensions
152x229x28
ISBN-13
9780520241350
Product ID
1906950

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