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Book Cover
Author Packham, Catherine, author.

Title Eighteenth-century vitalism : bodies, culture, politics / by Catherine Packham
Published Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan, 2012


Description 1 online resource (1 volume) : illustrations
Series Palgrave studies in the Enlightenment, romanticism and cultures of print
Palgrave studies in the Enlightenment, romanticism and cultures of print.
Contents Acknowledgements -- Introduction: Eighteenth Century Vitalism -- Forms of Enlightenment: Embodied Beings in Eighteenth-Century Scotland -- Generating Sympathy: Sensibility, Animation, and Vitality in Adam Smith and Mary Wollstonecraft -- Labouring Bodies in Political Economy: Labour, Vitalist Physiology and the Body Politic -- Enlightenment Legacies and Cultural Radicalism: Physiology and Politics in the 1790s -- Animated Nature: Erasmus Darwin and the Poetry and Politics of Vital Matter, 1789-1803 -- Animation and Vitality in Women's Writing of the 1790s -- Conclusion: Eighteenth-century Vitalism, Romantic Organicism, Literature and the Disciplines
Summary Vitalism is usually associated with Romantic theories of nature, but the supposition of a 'vital principle' or life-force recurred throughout eighteenth-century natural philosophy, to counter the inadequacy of mechanism to understand the operation of natural life. This book traces the persistent presence of a language of vital nature not only in eighteenth-century science, but in literary and philosophical writing too: in moral philosophy, theories of sensibility and political economy, and in the radical journalism and women's writing of the 1790s. It explores the influence of the Scottish vitalist physiology of Robert Whytt and others on writers and thinkers as diverse as Adam Smith, David Hume, Erasmus Darwin, John Hunter, John Thelwall and Mary Wollstonecraft. In doing so, it shows the centrality of vitalism to eighteenth-century accounts of the body, nature, matter and life, and offers a new way of understanding the relationship between eighteenth-century science and culture and that of the Romantic period
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Vitalism -- History -- 18th century
Western philosophy: c 1600 to c 1900.
Literary studies: c 1500 to c 1800.
History of science.
Social & cultural history.
LITERARY CRITICISM -- European -- English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh.
LITERARY CRITICISM -- Semiotics & Theory.
Vitalism -- historia.
Filosofi och naturvetenskap -- historia.
Litteratur och samhälle -- historia.
Genre/Form History.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 9780230368392