- Hardcover: 240 pages
- Publisher: Stanford University Press; 1 edition (September 1, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0804735565
- ISBN-13: 978-0804735568
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,518,920 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Culture of Accidents: Unexpected Knowledges in Early Modern England 1st Edition
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"Michael Witmore (Carnegie Mellon) has given us an extraordinary, erudite book (with full attention to Aristotelian, Scholastic, and Calvinist world views as challenged by chance, monstrous births, and other unexpected occurrences). His book fills a felt need and is sure to be a classic." (BHR)
From the Inside Flap
Embracing the notion that accident was a concept with both learned and popular appeal, the book traces its evolution through Aristotelian, Scholastic, and Calvinist thought into a range of early modern texts. It suggests that for many English writers, accidental events raised fundamental questions about the nature of order in the world and the way that order should be apprehended.
Alongside texts by such canonical figures as Shakespeare and Bacon, this study draws on several lesser-known authors of sensational news accounts about accidents that occurred around the turn of the seventeenth century. The result is a cultural anatomy of accidents as philosophical problem, theatrical conceit, spiritual landmark, and even a prototype for Baconian “experiment,” one that provides a fresh interpretation of the early modern engagement with contingency in intellectual and cultural terms.
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