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Wonders and the Order of Nature 1150 - 1750

Out of Print

By: Lorraine Daston and Katharine Park

511 pages, 114 b/w illus

MIT Press

Hardback | Dec 1998 | #75863 | ISBN: 0942299906
Out of Print Details

About this book

Discusses 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.

...dense with erudition and pleasingly light on its scholarly feet. Kirkus Review


Part 1 The topography of wonder: marvels on the margins; wonders of creation; prodigious individuals and marvellous kinds; wonder and belief. Part 2 The properties of things: collecting wonders; artificial marvels; wonders at court. Part 3 Wonder among the philosophers: the philosophers against wonder; curiosity and the preternatural; making wonders cease. Part 4 marvellous particulars: marvellous therapeutics; preternatural history; preternatural philosophy. Part 5 Monsters - a case study: horror - monsters as prodigies; pleasure - monsters as sport; repugnance - monsters as errors. Part 6 Strange facts: Baconian reforms; strange facts in learned societies; the sociability of strange facts; the credibility of strange facts. Part 7 Wonders of art, wonders of nature: art and nature opposed; the wonders of art and nature displayed; the wonders of art and nature conjoined; nature as artist, nature as art. Part 8 The passions of inquiry: ravening curiosity; wonder and curiosity allied; gawking wonder. Part 9 The enlightenment and the anti-marvellous: the unholy Trinity - enthusiasms, superstition, imagination; vulgarity and the love of the marvellous; nature's decorum; the wistful counter-enlightenment.

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Katharine Park's book Wonders and the Order of Nature, 1150-1750 (Zone Books, 1998), coauthored with Lorraine Daston, won the Pfizer Prize for the best book in the history of science. She is Zemurray Stone Radcliffe Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University.

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