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Romanticism and the Experience of Experiment

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In this talk, Robert Mitchell (Professor of English, Duke University, joining us via video conference) addresses the question of Romanticism and experimentation by thinking about how Romantic understandings of experiment relate to critiques of scientific experimentation, especially those critiques developed by authors such as Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, Martin Heidegger, Hans Blumenberg, Hannah Arendt, and feminist scholars of science, such as Sandra Harding. Discussing the shared premises of these critiques of modern scientific experimentation, Prof. Mitchell focuses especially on Hannah Arendt’s account of the ways in which modern scientific experimentation subtly altered the concept of truth. Arendt’s account then serves to illuminate the specific way in which the Romantics experimented with the term experiment (with an emphasis on Wordsworth and Coleridge). Reading available soon in the Dropbox here:

This talk is part of the Rethinking Life series.

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