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Scholarly Vices: Boundary Work in Nineteenth-Century Orientalism

  • Christiaan EngbertsEmail author
  • Herman Paul
Chapter
  • 244 Downloads
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science book series (BSPS, volume 321)

Abstract

What are epistemic vices? Drawing on the cases of two mid-nineteenth-century Orientalists, both of whom were accused of serious vices, this chapter argues that dispositions perceived as detrimental to scholarly work were often difficult to distinguish from social or religious vices. Indeed, when Heinrich Ewald (1803–1875) and Reinhart Dozy (1820–1883) were blamed for “dogmatism” and “rashness,” these were epistemic as much as social and religious vices. This chapter therefore proposes to exchange the concept of epistemic vices for the more inclusive category of scholarly vices. What this alternative phrase seeks to convey is that, for at least some nineteenth-century academics, the pursuit of epistemic aims was inseparable from meeting social expectations, engaging in political projects, and fulfilling religious duties. The relative importance of these various aims, however, was contested. Accordingly, criticism of Dozy and Ewald was part of a broader debate on the scholarly vocation and not seldom amounted to a form of “boundary work” between competing conceptions of Orientalist scholarship.

Keywords

Epistemic virtues Epistemic vices Scholarly vices Boundary work Scholarly personae History of humanities Orientalism History of Orientalism Heinrich Ewald Reinhart Dozy 

Notes

Acknowledgment

Funding was generously provided by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO).

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for HistoryLeiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands

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