Wonders and the Order of Nature, 1150-1750

Zone Books (1998)
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Abstract

Wonders and the Order of Nature is about the ways in which European naturalists from the High Middle Ages through the Enlightenment used wonder and wonders, the passion and its objects, to envision themselves and the natural world. Monsters, gems that shone in the dark, petrifying springs, celestial apparitions---these were the marvels that adorned romances, puzzled philosophers, lured collectors, and frightened the devout. Drawing on the histories of art, science, philosophy, and literature, Lorraine Daston and Katharine Park explore and explain how wonder and wonders fortified princely power, rewove the texture of scientific experience, and shaped the sensibility of intellectuals. This is a history of the passions of inquiry, of how wonder sometimes inflamed, sometimes dampened curiosity about nature’s best-kept secrets. Refracted through the prism of wonders, the order of nature splinters into a spectrum of orders, a tour of possible worlds. Frontmatter Preface, page 9 Introduction: At the Limit, page 13 I THE TOPOGRAPHY OF WONDER, page 21 II THE PROPERTIES OF THINGS, page 67 III WONDER AMONG THE PHILOSOPHERS, page 109 IV MARVELOUS PARTICULARS, page 135 V MONSTERS: A CASE STUDY, page 173 VI STRANGE FACTS, page 215 VII WONDERS OF ART, WONDERS OF NATURE, page 255 VIII THE PASSIONS OF INQUIRY, page 303 IX THE ENLIGHTENMENT AND THE ANTI-MARVELOUS, page 329 Epilogue, page 365 Photo Credits, page 369 Notes, page 373 Bibliography, page 451 Index, page 499.

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