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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

(p.284) Novel Knowledge
This Is Enlightenment

John Bende

University of Chicago Press

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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