Sentimental Savants: Philosophical Families In Enlightenment France

Hardcover | October 26, 2016

byMeghan K. Roberts

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Though the public may retain a hoary image of the lone scientific or philosophical genius generating insights in isolation, scholars discarded it long ago. In reality, the families of scientists and philosophers in the Enlightenment played a substantial role, not only making space for inquiry within the home but also assisting in observing, translating, calculating, and illustrating.

Sentimental Savants is the first book to explore the place of the family among the savants of the French Enlightenment, a group that openly embraced their families and domestic lives, even going so far as to test out their ideas—from education to inoculation—on their own children. Meghan K. Roberts delves into the lives and work of such major figures as Denis Diderot, Émilie Du Châtelet, the Marquis de Condorcet, Antoine Lavoisier, and Jérôme Lalande to paint a striking portrait of how sentiment and reason interacted in the eighteenth century to produce not only new kinds of knowledge but new kinds of families as well.
 

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Though the public may retain a hoary image of the lone scientific or philosophical genius generating insights in isolation, scholars discarded it long ago. In reality, the families of scientists and philosophers in the Enlightenment played a substantial role, not only making space for inquiry within the home but also assisting in obser...

Meghan K. Roberts is assistant professor of history at Bowdoin College.  

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.9 inPublished:October 26, 2016Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022638411X

ISBN - 13:9780226384115

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Introduction

1.         Men of Letters, Men of Feeling
2.         Working Together
3.         Love, Proof, and Smallpox Inoculation
4.         Enlightening Children
5.         Organic Enlightenment

Conclusion
Acknowledgments
Notes
Index

Editorial Reviews

“Sentimental Savants is a gracefully written, ambitious, deeply researched book that makes excellent contributions to the study of the Enlightenment, the social experience of the philosophes, the culture of intellectual life in the eighteenth century, the history of the family, and the early modern process of self-fashioning. Roberts constructively engages secondary literature on all of these topics and offers many new, brilliant insights. Her argument is subtle, the evidence contextualized and intellectually situated, and her thesis undeniably persuasive. The book is thorough, written with a lively and engaging style, and broken into digestible bits that go down easily. Anyone interested in the history of the Enlightenment, French studies, and the social, cultural, and intellectual history of the eighteenth century will be intrigued by Sentimental Savants.”