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Historia : Empiricism and Erudition in Early Modern Europe - Gianna Pomata

Historia

Empiricism and Erudition in Early Modern Europe

By: Gianna Pomata (Editor), Nancy G. Siraisi (Editor), Jed Z. Buchwald (Editor)

Hardcover Published: 16th September 2005
ISBN: 9780262162296
Number Of Pages: 500
For Ages: 18+ years old

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The early modern genre of "historia" connected the study of nature and the study of culture from the early Renaissance to the eighteenth century. The ubiquity of "historia" as a descriptive method across a variety of disciplines--including natural history, medicine, antiquarianism, and philology--indicates how closely intertwined these scholarly pursuits were in the early modern period. The essays collected in this volume demonstrate that "historia" can be considered a key epistemic tool of early modern intellectual practices. Focusing on the actual use of "historia" across disciplines, the essays highlight a distinctive feature of early modern descriptive sciences: the coupling of observational skills with philological learning, empiricism with erudition. Thus the essays bring to light previously unexamined links between the culture of humanism and the scientific revolution. The contributors, from a range of disciplines that echoes the broad scope of early modern "historia," examine such topics as the development of a new interest in historical method from the Renaissance "artes historicae" to the eighteenth-century tension between "history" and "system"; shifts in Aristotelian thought paving the way for revaluation of "historia" as descriptive knowledge; the rise of the new discipline of natural history; the uses of "historia" in anatomical and medical investigation and the writing of history by physicians; parallels between the practices of collecting and presenting information in both natural history and antiquarianism; and significant examples of the ease with which early seventeenth-century antiquarian scholars moved from studies of nature to studies of culture.

"The meaning of the term historia in the early modern vocabulary of knowledge was so varied and so multilayered that it can be properly understood only when approached from multiple angles. This book brings together scholars from a wide variety of disciplines to explore the term's manifold meanings, revealing a rich and highly textured understanding of historia that is utterly lost to the modern world. With essays ranging from the study of the human past to the meaning of historia in medicine and natural history, it provides a fascinating glimpse into the intellectual world of the late Renaissance."--William Eamon, Regents Professor of History, New Mexico State University "While today we may take the importance of 'facts' for granted, a few centuries ago the search for examples of true events and real things (*historia*), and a reluctance to speculate about causes, helped to create an intellectual revolution in both the natural and the human sciences. Between about 1450 and 1650, getting the details right mattered to just about everyone. A careful search for accurate information lay behind the production of natural histories, case histories, civil and religious histories, and other studies. This collection makes sense of that common enterprise and, in a number of elegant essays, underlines the contemporary importance of being correct. It is a work of significance to all who study the period, the history of ideas, and the history of science and medicine."--Harold J. Cook, The Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine, University College London

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introductionp. 1
The Ascending Fortunes of Historia
The Identities of History in Early Modern Europe: Prelude to a Study of the Artes Historicaep. 41
Natural History, Ethics, and Physico-Theologyp. 75
Praxis Historialis: The Uses of Historia in Early Modern Medicinep. 105
White Crows, Graying Hair, and Eyelashes: Problems for Natural Historians in the Reception of Aristotelian Logic and Biology from Pomponazzi to Baconp. 147
Antiquarianism and Idolatry: The Historia of Religions in the Seventeenth Centuryp. 181
Between History and Systemp. 211
The Working Practices of Learned Empiricism
Conrad Gessner and the Historical Depth of Renaissance Natural Historyp. 241
Historia in Zwinger's Theatrum humanae vitaep. 269
Histories, Stories, Exempla, and Anecdotes: Michele Savonarola from Latin to Vernacularp. 297
Historiae, Natural History, Roman Antiquity, and Some Roman Physiciansp. 325
Description Terminable and Interminable: Looking at the Past, Nature, and Peoples in Peiresc's Archivep. 355
Bibliographyp. 399
Contributorsp. 473
Indexp. 475
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780262162296
ISBN-10: 0262162296
Series: Transformations: Studies in the History of Science and Technology
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 500
Published: 16th September 2005
Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 16.0  x 3.3
Weight (kg): 0.82