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The Collapse of Mechanism and the Rise of SensibilityScience and the Shaping of Modernity, 1680-1760$
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Stephen Gaukroger

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199594931

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199594931.001.0001

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The Realm of Reason

The Realm of Reason

(p.257) 7 The Realm of Reason
The Collapse of Mechanism and the Rise of Sensibility

Stephen Gaukroger (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

In the course of the eighteenth century, natural philosophy began to take on a new cultural standing, emerging as the paradigm bearer of, and the standard for, cognitive values. It was Fontenelle who had established the standing of natural philosophy in France as a worthy and useful form of inquiry, but it was Voltaire who had elevated its standing further by making it into the model for cognitive grasp per se. In d'Alembert's preliminary Discours to the Encyclopédie, a more elaborate statement of the archetypal role of natural philosophy in cognitive enquiry was set out.

Keywords:   François‐Arouet Voltaire, Jean d'Alembert, Denis Diderot, Encyclopédie, Enlightenment

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