Defoe and the New Sciences
In his long career as a writer Daniel Defoe never tired of advocating the value of personal observation and experience; and he never wavered in his conviction that it is man's God-given duty to explore and make productive use of nature. In this first major study of Bacon's legacy to Defoe Ilse Vickers shows that the ideas and concepts of Baconian science were a significant influence on Defoe's way of thinking and writing. She outlines the seventeenth-century intellectual milieu, and discusses the prominence of Defoe's teacher Charles Morton among major Baconian thinkers of the century. She goes on to consider a wide range of Defoe's work, from the point of view of his familiarity with the ideals of experimental philosophy, and throws new light on the close link between his factual and his fictional works. In the process Vickers reveals a new Defoe: not only a thorough Baconian, but also a far more consistent writer than has hitherto been recognised.
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