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Poland’s Last King and English Culture$
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Richard Butterwick

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198207016

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198207016.001.0001

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Poland’s Last King and English Culture

Butterwick Richard

Oxford University Press

The second half of the 18th century witnessed the flowering of experimental science in Poland, but empiricism did not vanquish superstition and scholasticism unaided or overnight. Sarmatian traditionalists linked English influence and Stanislaw August with the apparent advance of godlessness, heresy, and deism in Poland. Stanislaw August played a central role in the diffusion of English science in Poland, both by contacts with English scientists and by encouraging the introduction of its main tenets into the education in Poland. In no way, did he aim to weaken the Christian religion. Stanislaw August was particularly fascinated by astronomy, and it was in astronomy that Anglo-Polish co-operation was most fruitful. The king's cadet school set new standards in Polish schooling. With its Lockean methods, it sent its enlightened graduates back into the provinces, met with the general approval of the szlachta, and provided a model for schools of the Commission for National Education.

Keywords:   experimental science, empiricism, deism, Christianity, astronomy, cadet school, Lockean methods, szlachta, Commission of National Education

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