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Milton, the Poetics of Matter, and the Sciences of Reading

  • Elizabeth Spiller
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Handbooks of Literature and Science book series (PAHALISC)

Abstract

Early modern debate about physical matter was vexed and intense; the outcome of these debates was as profound as anything imagined by Copernicus’ astronomy or Vesalius’ anatomy. Challenges to Aristotelian hylomorphism, the excitement about the Renaissance rediscovery of Lucretius, the pressure that conflict between Galenic and Paracelsian medicine put on the conflicting theories of matter that those models implied—these debates were central to early modern science. They were also central to other aspects of early modern life. Distilling ale, eating food, turning lead into gold, writing poems, reading books, creating the universe out of matter ‘unformed and void’: from the mundane to the transcendent, such activities all involved the transformation of matter.

Keywords

Good Book Textual Fact Christian Doctrine Paradise Lost Cartesian Dualism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth Spiller
    • 1
  1. 1.Virginia TechBlacksburgUSA

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