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The Uses of Curiosity in Early Modern France and Germany
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The Uses of Curiosity in Early Modern France and Germany

Neil Kenny


Why did people argue about curiosity in France, Germany, and elsewhere in Europe between the 16th and the 18th centuries, so much more than today? Why was curiosity a fashionable topic in early modern conduct manuals, university dissertations, scientific treatises, sermons, newspapers, novellas, plays, operas, ballets, poems, from Corneille to Diderot, from Johann Valentin Andreae to Gottlieb Spizel? Universities, churches, and other institutions invoked curiosity in order to regulate knowledge or behaviour, to establish who should try to know or do what, and under what circumstances. The lang ... More

Keywords: curiosity, curiosities, early modern, France, Germany, knowledge, universities, churches, historiographical debates, nature of concepts

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2004 Print ISBN-13: 9780199271368
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199271368.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Neil Kenny, author
Senior Lecturer in French at the University of Cambridge.
Author Webpage