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Rhetoric, Science, and Magic in Seventeenth-century England

Ryan J. Stark

Publication Year: 2011

Ryan J. Stark presents a spiritually sensitive, interdisciplinary, and original discussion of early modern English rhetoric. He shows specifically how experimental philosophers attempted to disenchant language

Published by: The Catholic University of America Press

Title Page, Copyright

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-x

I thank my family and friends for their prayers. I also thank David McGonagle, director; Theresa Walker, managing editor; Ellen Coughlin, copyeditor; and C. Jan Swearingen and the anonymous reader for the Catholic University of America...

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Introduction: The New Plainness

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pp. 1-8

The idea of rhetorical plainness captured the imaginations of experimental philosophers in seventeenthcentury England. Francis Bacon’s attacks on “sweet falling clauses” and Thomas Sprat’s invectives against “swellings of style” are especially quotable, and have been cited often by scholars...

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1. Charmed and Plain Tropes

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pp. 9-46

Arguments over the new plain style in seventeenthcentury England were about the nature of language and the shape of the cosmos. On the one side, a group of experimentalists advanced the idea of plainness, which they used as a code word to signal a nonenchanted understanding...

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2. Language Reform in the Late Seventeenth Century

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pp. 47-87

In the opening chapter, I focused upon the rise of the new plain style, emphasizing how modern experimentalists rejected both the tropes of magic and mystery and, in the opposite direction, the discourses of materialism and skepticism...

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3. Natural Magic

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pp. 88-114

Most new philosophers accepted the existence of charmed rhetoric. Their attitudes toward such rhetoric, however, distinguished their activities from the occult methods of magicians...

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4. Demonic Eloquence

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pp. 115-145

Most new philosophers accepted the existence of charmed rhetoric. Their attitudes toward such rhetoric, however, distinguished their activities from the occult methods of magicians...

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5. Meric Casaubon on Rhetorical Enthusiasm

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pp. 146-173

Most new philosophers accepted the existence of charmed rhetoric. Their attitudes toward such rhetoric, however, distinguished their activities from the occult methods of magicians...

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6. John Dryden, New Philosophy, and Rhetoric

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pp. 174-202

Most new philosophers accepted the existence of charmed rhetoric. Their attitudes toward such rhetoric, however, distinguished their activities from the occult methods of magicians...

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Conclusion

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pp. 203-208

Most new philosophers accepted the existence of charmed rhetoric. Their attitudes toward such rhetoric, however, distinguished their activities from the occult methods of magicians...

Bibliography

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pp. 209-226

Index

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pp. 227-234

Publication Information

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p. 235-235


E-ISBN-13: 9780813218892
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813215785

Page Count: 246
Publication Year: 2011

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Subject Headings

  • English language -- Early modern, 1500-1700 -- Rhetoric.
  • Rhetoric -- Philosophy -- History -- 17th century.
  • Occultism -- England -- History -- 17th century.
  • Literature and science -- England -- History -- 17th century.
  • English literature -- Early modern, 1500-1700 -- History and criticism
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