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Étienne Chauvin (1640-1725) and his Lexicon philosophicum

Giuliano Gasparri

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From Walch’s Philosophisches Lexicon to Zedler’s Universal-Lexicon, from Diderot’s and D’Alembert’s Encyclopédie to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, all major early modern dictionaries and encyclopedias incorporate some of the definitions given by the Huguenot savant Étienne Chauvin (1640 – 1725) in the two editions of his Lexicon philosophicum (1692 and 1713). For the first time, Chauvin placed the scholastic tradition side by side with the theories of new thinkers like Descartes, Gassendi and their followers. His work covers natural philosophy extensively, describing scientific instruments and experiments. Surprisingly enough, the complex architecture of Chauvin’s dictionary, its sources, and its fortune have never been thoroughly investigated before. The present, broad study in the history of philosophical terminology and ideas casts light on the culture of the « République des lettres » between the end of the seventeenth and the beginning of the eighteenth century. It deals with metaphysics, logic, moral, and anthropological themes, and the clash between ancient and modern visions of nature.

Georg Olms Verlag - Europaea Memoria
268 pages - 17 × 24 cm
ISBN 978-3-487-15434-3 - juillet 2016

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