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Between the library and the laboratory : the language of chemistry in eighteenth-century France /
Wilda C. Anderson.
Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, c1984.
190 p., [1] leaf of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.
0801832292 (alk. paper) :
More Details
Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, c1984.
0801832292 (alk. paper) :
catalogue key
Gift to Victoria University Library. IHPST. 2006/08/01.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 183-188) and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1985-09:
This valuable interdisciplinary study deals with a ``predisciplinary'' moment in the latter half of the 18th century, when thinkers held to a theory of the relation among language, thought, and world that make it possible to believe in the unified foundations of all knowledge. Anderson traces the process by which this belief, seeking to establish itself in new areas of though and experiment, paradoxically found it necessary to effect a break and to establish new disciplines. She ranges from Descartes to Foucault, but is most concerned with the philosopher-chemists Lavoisier and Macquer. She demonstrates the intimate connection between the domain of language (rhetoric, metaphor, analogy, imagery, logic) and early chemistry at the moment when the latter began to constitute itself as an independent branch of knowledge. Although Foucault's studies of disciplinary discourse stand behind Anderson's project, they do so at some remove; her own approach is remarkably original, and her learning formidable. The discussions of Condillac and especially Diderot are valuable in themselves, as well as integral parts of the book, which can be considered a contribution to the study of language, literature, or the history of ideas. Strongly recommended to undergraduate libraries; essential for universities.-K. Tololyan, Wesleyan University
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, September 1985
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