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This Is Enlightenment$
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Clifford Siskin and William Warner

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780226761473

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226761466.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 28 June 2022

Novel Knowledge

Novel Knowledge

Judgment, Experience, Experiment

Chapter:
(p.284) Novel Knowledge
Source:
This Is Enlightenment
Author(s):

John Bende

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226761466.003.0015

This chapter argues that the British novelists of the early eighteenth century adopted three elements of natural philosophy in fashioning their narratives: surrogate witnessing, the contrived experiment, and the induction-based reasoning that could translate the findings of a single experiment into truths of general validity. It shows how early novelists fashioned printed texts into experiments that mediated different kinds of knowledge as a means of mediating the fictional and the real. The tools described both confer experience to the fictional characters and advance the judgment of both characters and readers.

Keywords:   British novelists, natural philosophy, surrogate witnessing, contrived experiment, induction-based reasoning, mediation

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