Encyclopaedic Visions: Scientific Dictionaries and Enlightenment Culture

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Cambridge University Press, 29.03.2001 - 336 Seiten
The eighteenth-century English dictionaries of arts and sciences claimed to contain all knowledge that a person of education should possess. These early encyclopaedias responded to the explosion of information by reducing knowledge to essentials, stressing the need for a coherent account of the sciences, and for some time excluding biography and history. Richard Yeo places these scientific dictionaries in a rich cultural framework of debate that includes the arrangement of knowledge, the Republic of Letters, the Enlightenment public sphere, copyright issues, and the specialisation of science. He discusses dilemmas involved in the quest for knowledge to be both organised and readily available, examining assumptions about the organisation, communication, and control of knowledge in these works. Elegantly illustrated and accessibly written, Encyclopaedic Visions provides a major contribution to Enlightenment studies and the history of ideas in general.
 

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Inhalt

Encyclopaedias in the Republic of Letters
35
Scientific dictionaries and compleat knowledge
59
Containing knowledge
78
From commonplace books to encyclopaedias
101
Ephraim Chambers
120
Communicating the arts and sciences
145
The Encyclopaedia Britannica and the Scottish
170
Copyright and public knowledge
195
Why dedicate an encyclopaedia to a king?
222
ΙΟ Editors and experts
246
Conclusion
277
Bibliography
284
Index
323
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