Mechanism and the Novel: Science in the Narrative Process by Martha A. Turner PDF

By Martha A. Turner

ISBN-10: 0521108969

ISBN-13: 9780521108966

Martha Turner's publication makes a massive contribution to the transforming into reports of technology and literature via studying the connection among British fiction and the culture of mechanistic technology derived from Isaac Newton. It lines the evolution of the concept that of mechanism between technological know-how writers and novelists of the 19th and 20th centuries and undertakes specific research of novels via Austen, Scott, Dickens, Meredith, Conrad, Lawrence, and Doris Lessing. The e-book offers a bridge among the mechanical philosophy of the eighteenth century and present-day behavior of notion.

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Since the model for a successful science was Newtonian mechanics, proponents of new disciplines often felt compelled to prove their own scientific basis by emulating Newton's methodology. From Utilitarian social reformers in the first half of the century to embryologists in the 1880s, practitioners in various emerging fields sought the legitimacy conferred by experimentation and data-gathering. The appearance of so many new sciences claiming authority over more and more of the material world aroused much hostility, of course, among those who felt threatened by implications of the new knowledge.

70 Although the plans were not implemented until after his death - and then only partially - the Prince Consort was an important spokesman for a pragmatically oriented science. He recognized that the way for science to maintain the popular support and financial backing necessary to expand its domain was through producing results with demonstrable practical benefits. "71 Scientists were not necessarily eager to jump on the industrial progress bandwagon, however, especially in a time when the Ruskins and Carlyles of the nation were openly questioning the value of this supposed progress.

The appearance of so many new sciences claiming authority over more and more of the material world aroused much hostility, of course, among those who felt threatened by implications of the new knowledge. Interestingly, the rhetoric of empiricism also helped to dictate strategies of resistance. Those who defined themselves as "for" science though opposed to a specific hypothesis found in empiricism a weapon that could be turned against any new theory. As the Quarterly Review's dissecting of Darwin's Origin of Species indicates, no argument was immune to charges of inadequate evidence.

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Mechanism and the Novel: Science in the Narrative Process by Martha A. Turner


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