• Peter Dear
Part of the Palgrave Handbooks of Literature and Science book series (PAHALISC)


The idea that a field of study characterizable as ‘literature and science’ should exist relies on particular ideologies of both literature and science. Those ideologies are necessarily mutually constitutive: together, they maintain that each is a natural kind to be categorically demarcated from the other, and that bringing them into a mutual relationship will reveal something of significance about at least one of them. This is the case regardless of whether one adheres to C.P. Snow or to F.R. Leavis.1 There is of course no reason why one could not simply cut the Gordian knot entangling the two and argue instead that literature is just about cultures of writing about any subject matter, science included, such that no eyebrows need be raised when anyone speaks of the two together. Yet historically this has not been the case, because of the special status routinely accorded science.


Natural Kind Scientific Revolution Literary Scholar Scientific Text Scientific Writing 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Dear
    • 1
  1. 1.Cornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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