By Courtney Weiss Smith

Featuring a second in overdue 17th- and early eighteenth-century
England prior to the disciplinary divisions that we inherit this present day have been established,
Empiricist Devotions recovers a type of empiricist pondering within which the
strategies and emphases of technology, faith, and literature mixed and cooperated. This brand
of empiricism was once dedicated to particularized scrutiny and epistemological modesty. It was
Protestant in its permitting premises and meditative practices. It earnestly affirmed that
figurative language supplied an important instruments for studying the divinely written global. Smith
recovers this empiricism in Robert Boyle’s analogies, Isaac Newton’s metaphors, John
Locke’s narratives, Joseph Addison’s personifications, Daniel Defoe’s diction,
John Gay’s periphrases, and Alexander Pope’s descriptive details. She thereby
demonstrates that "literary" language performed a key function in shaping and giving voice to
the worries of eighteenth-century technological know-how and faith alike.

Empiricist Devotions combines highbrow background with shut readings of a
good selection of texts, from sermons, devotional journals, and financial tracts to georgic poems,
it-narratives, and microscopy treatises. This prizewinning publication has vital implications for
our realizing of cultural and literary historical past, as students of the period’s science
haven't totally preferred figurative language’s vital function in empiricist idea, while
students of its faith and literature have ignored the intense empiricist commitments
motivating richly figurative devotional and poetic texts.

Winner of the Walker
Cowen Memorial Prize for an exceptional paintings of Scholarship in Eighteenth-Century
Studies

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Empiricist Devotions: Science, Religion, and Poetry in Early Eighteenth-Century England by Courtney Weiss Smith


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