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The Judgements of Regency Literature

Sleigh, Charlotte (2010) The Judgements of Regency Literature. Literature and History, 19 (2). pp. 1-17. ISSN 0306-1973. (doi:10.7227/LH.19.2.1) (KAR id:53197)

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http://dx.doi.org/10.7227/LH.19.2.1

Abstract

This article outlines two Regency modes of reading: one drawn from the political philosopher Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), and the other from the gentleman of science William Whewell (1794-1866). Bentham's readings are presented as an experiment in radical democracy that was almost, but not quite, effaced by the idealist mode introduced one generation later by Whewell. These modes of reading, and the textual judgements that they entailed, are used to help understand the epistemology of scientific evidence in the Regency era. It is claimed that both literary and scientific judgements were, at root, political, and furthermore that judgement in the courtroom formed their model. Multiple levels of nested and epistolary fiction enabled readers to rehearse and attend to political arguments about the nature of scientific evidence: evidence that, in an era of high political tension, decided the case about nothing less than their own selfhood.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.7227/LH.19.2.1
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
P Language and Literature > PE English philology and language
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: Charlotte Sleigh
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2015 17:03 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:22 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/53197 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Sleigh, Charlotte: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1516-9226
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