Cloth $81.00 ISBN: 9780226720784 Published December 2002
Paper $32.00 ISBN: 9780226720791 Published December 2002
E-book $7.00 to $30.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226720852 Published November 2010

Science in the Age of Sensibility

The Sentimental Empiricists of the French Enlightenment

Jessica Riskin

Science in the Age of Sensibility
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Jessica Riskin

345 pages | 3 halftones, 39 line drawings | 6 x 9 | © 2002
Cloth $81.00 ISBN: 9780226720784 Published December 2002
Paper $32.00 ISBN: 9780226720791 Published December 2002
E-book $7.00 to $30.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226720852 Published November 2010
Empiricism today implies the dispassionate scrutiny of facts. But Jessica Riskin finds that in the French Enlightenment, empiricism was intimately bound up with sensibility. In what she calls a "sentimental empiricism," natural knowledge was taken to rest on a blend of experience and emotion.

Riskin argues that sentimental empiricism brought together ideas and institutions, practices and politics. She shows, for instance, how the study of blindness, led by ideas about the mental and moral role of vision and by cataract surgeries, shaped the first school for the blind; how Benjamin Franklin's electrical physics, ascribing desires to nature, engaged French economic reformers; and how the question of the role of language in science and social life linked disputes over Antoine Lavoisier's new chemical names to the founding of France's modern system of civic education.

Recasting the Age of Reason by stressing its conjunction with the Age of Sensibility, Riskin offers an entirely new perspective on the development of modern science and the history of the Enlightenment.

American Historical Association: AHA-J. Russell Major Prize
Won

Berkshire Conference of Women Historians: Berkshire Conference First Book Prize - Women Historians
Short Listed

View Recent Awards page for more award winning books.
Contents
List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations
1. Introduction: Sensibility and Enlightenment Science
2. The Blind and the Mathematically Inclined
3. Poor Richard's Leyden Jar
4. From Electricity to Economy
5. The Lawyer and the Lightning Rod
6. The Mesmerism Investigation and the Crisis of Sensibilist Science
7. Languages of Science and Revolution
8. Conclusion: The Legacy of the Sentimental Empiricists
Bibliography
Index
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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