Newton for ladies: gentility, gender and radical culture

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Newton for ladies: gentility, gender and radical culture

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dc.contributor.author Mazzotti, Massimo en_GB
dc.contributor.department University of Exeter en_GB
dc.date.accessioned 2008-05-27T13:31:19Z en_GB
dc.date.accessioned 2011-01-25T10:54:59Z en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2013-03-20T15:51:21Z
dc.date.issued 2004-06 en_GB
dc.description.abstract Francesco Algarotti’s Newtonianism for Ladies (1737), a series of lively dialogues on optics, was a landmark in the popularization of Newtonian philosophy. In this essay I shall explore Algarotti’s sociocultural world, his aims and ambitions, and the meaning he attached to his own work. In particular I shall focus on Algarotti’s self-promotional strategies, his deployment of gendered images and his use of popular philosophy within the broader cultural and experimental campaign for the success of Newtonianism. Finally, I shall suggest a radical reading of the dialogues, reconstructing the process that brought them to their religious condemnation. What did Newtonianism mean to Algarotti? In opposition to mainstream apologetic interpretations, he seems to have framed the new experimental methodology in a sensationalistic epistemology derived mainly from Locke, pointing at a series of subversive religious and political implications. Due to the intervention of religious authorities Algarotti’s radical Newtonianism became gradually less visible in subsequent editions and translations. It is only through the study of the first – clandestine – edition of the dialogues that one can begin reconstructing the meaning of Algarotti’s experiments (real and fictional) and his cultural battle for a regenerated Europe. en_GB
dc.identifier.citation 37(2), pp.119-146 en_GB
dc.identifier.doi 10.1017/S0007087404005400 en_GB
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10036/28295 en_GB
dc.language.iso en en_GB
dc.publisher Cambridge University Press en_GB
dc.relation.url http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayIssue?jid=BJH&volumeId=37&issueId=02# en_GB
dc.subject Newtonianism en_GB
dc.subject Algarotti, Francesco en_GB
dc.subject Optics en_GB
dc.subject philosophy en_GB
dc.subject Newtonian philosophy en_GB
dc.title Newton for ladies: gentility, gender and radical culture en_GB
dc.type Article en_GB
dc.date.available 2008-05-27T13:31:19Z en_GB
dc.date.available 2011-01-25T10:54:59Z en_US
dc.date.available 2013-03-20T15:51:21Z
dc.identifier.issn 0007-0874 en_GB
dc.description © British Society for the History of Science en_GB
dc.identifier.eissn 1474-001X en_GB
dc.identifier.journal British Journal for the History of Science en_GB


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