The Scalpel of Reason and the Wings of Imagination: Scientific Discourse in English Culture in the Early Modern Era
The book looks at the history of science and its cultural contexts from the second half of the 16th to the beginning of the 18th century. The research is centred around several interrelated phenomena: scientific method, demonstrable theories, simplicity of language, open scientific communities and the citizens’ response to experiment demonstrations, public lectures and printed research. Thanks to scientific texts and experiments being easy to understand, such faculties of the soul as vision, imagination and memory were then reinterpreted.
They became the basement for a new knowledge and inspired trust in experience and new forms of transmitting and storing information. A change was produced in the status of science and scientists, scientific and educational institutions as well as scientific practices. This prompted mutual influence of liberal arts in terms of language, concepts and ideas. Poetic reflection on the new picture of the world was born, together with the desire to incorporate this new knowledge into one’s live experience. Scientists, who in their writing often made use of poetry and rhetoric, saw these as a means to make their work more attractive to patrons and curious citizens.
The book is intended for a wide range of humanities scholars engaged in cultural studies, philosophy, philology and history of science or art.