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New Philosophy and Universal Languages in Seventeenth Century England: Bacon, Hobbes, and Wilkins

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Robert E. Stillman's book is an effort to restore the neglected history of those new philosophies of seventeenth-century England that sought to align themselves not with radical ideologies, but with the conservative interests of centralizing state power. Against the background of England's universal language movement, his study traces the development of three distinguishable philosophical projects, organized upon three distinguishable theories of language. In all three, a more perfect language comprises both a ...
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Lewisburg 1995 Hardcover Very Good in Fair jacket Book. 8vo-over 7?-9?" tall. Tight binding, good hinges, clean text.

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Very Good 1995. Hardcover. Cloth. 8vo. 359 pp. Mild shelf wear to dust jacket, otherwise very sound. Very Good. Dust Jacket is Very Good. (Subject: Philosophy).

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Overview

Robert E. Stillman's book is an effort to restore the neglected history of those new philosophies of seventeenth-century England that sought to align themselves not with radical ideologies, but with the conservative interests of centralizing state power. Against the background of England's universal language movement, his study traces the development of three distinguishable philosophical projects, organized upon three distinguishable theories of language. In all three, a more perfect language comprises both a model and a means for achieving a more perfect philosophy, and that philosophy, in turn, a vehicle for promoting political authority in the state. Those three projects are the new philosophies of Lord Chancellor Bacon, Thomas Hobbes, and Bishop John Wilkins, all of which can be usefully understood in the broader context of the century's cultural politics and in the more specific circumstances of the century's fascination with the construction of a universal language. Bacon, Hobbes, and Wilkins construct philosophies out of deeply held convictions about the need to provide a saving form of knowledge to remedy cultural crises. That saving form of knowledge, as it develops in the lines of linguistic thought that extend from Bacon's Instauration to Wilkins's Philosophical Language, is both a product of and one potent agent in producing the emerging, scientistically designed, modern state.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780838753101
  • Publisher: Bucknell University Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/1995
  • Pages: 360

Table of Contents

Preface 9
Introduction. The Lamentations of Comenius: Reconfiguring the Political in Seventeenth-Century Language Theory 29
1 Natural Philosophy and the Politics of Jacobean Intervention 55
2 Language and the Natural Philosophy of the Lord Chancellor 87
3 The Universal Philosophy of Politics and Monsters of Metaphor 115
4 The Logic and Language of Leviathan: From Monstrous Metaphor to Civil Philosophy 145
5 The New Philosophy of the Fiscal-Military State: Cultural Politics and the Language of Interest 179
6 Interest Achieved: The Royal Society and the Political Concernments of Communications 208
7 A Center Inside the Center: Wilkins and the Philosophical Language 228
Conclusion From Lamentations to Laughter 263
Notes 269
Select Bibliography 322
Index 347
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