Contemporary scientific universal history instantiates one among a set of “genres of synthesis,” varied modes for organizing and orienting knowledge. From the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, through figures such as Kant, Laplace, Hegel, and William Herschel, universal history maintains a connection to the tradition of synthetic natural and scientific histories, the future course of which is considered in the following chapters. These follow authorship networks, relating and contrasting historical synthesis to other modes of connecting scientific results and researchers. The book documents the emergence, contestations, circulation, and institutionalization of universal histories along with (instances of) the genres upon which they depend and which they inform.
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