Curiosity in Eighteenth-Century English Literature (WT)

Internally funded project

Start date : 01.08.2012

End date : 31.12.2017

Project details

Scientific Abstract

Samuel Johnson famously called curiosity "the first passion, and the last" -  this study explores diverging concepts of curiosity, taking into account the influences of philosophical aspects of the curiositas debate on British literature, from its origins to contemporary depictions, with an emphasis on eighteenth-century texts.

    A post-Foucauldian history of ideas for the 21st century aims at breaking the illusion of a seemingly fixed, holistic concept of curiosity, striving teleologically from original sin to a celebrated character trait of intellectuals, as Hans Blumenberg described it. Developing an innovative metaphor for Lovejoy's original unit ideas at work, this project traces their variability through time, individual philosophical system, and dogmatisation.


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Research Areas