Science and Superstition in the Eighteenth Century: A Study of the Treatment of Science in Two Encyclopedias of 1725-1750: Chambers' Cyclopedia, London (1728); Zedler's Universal Lexicon, Leipzig (1732-1750)

By Philip Shorr | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III
ZEDLER's Grosses Vollständiges Universal Lexicon AND THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE

BEFORE proceeding directly with the analysis of Zedler's Grosses Vollständiges Universal Lexicon, a few general considerations concerning the work are in order. In the first place, unlike Ephraim Chambers, who had a definite interest in science,1 and Diderot and D'Alembert who made contributions of their own in the field of science,2 the editors of the Lexicon were not, so far as we know, men of science. Johann Peter von Ludewig, for example, was interested in constitutional law;3 P. D. Longolius4 another collaborator, was chiefly interested in philology, education and history. Hence, although the sciences are included, it is doubtful whether science was uppermost in the minds of the editors. Considering the number of volumes (64) they published, one would conclude that their aim was all-inclusiveness rather than scientific specialization. And in that respect their work was unique and an innovation for its age. Nevertheless, this very desire for all-inclusiveness compelled them to give much space to the sciences and related fields.

____________________
1
See Chapter II.
2
See Thorndike, "L'Encyclopédia and the history of science," Isis, VI ( 1924), pp. 361-86.
3
See Ludewig ( 1668- 1743) in Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie; also Zedler's Lexicon, vol. xviii.
4
See Longolius in Brockhaus, Konversations Lexicon: according to Brockhaus, Longolius was interested in philology, education and history. He mentions also Frankenstein. Longolius ( 1704- 1779) in the Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie is described as philologist, educator, historian and also a collaborator of the Lexicon. Brunet, J. C., Manuel de Libraire ( Paris, 1860-65), vol. vi, p. 1847, no. 31865 also mentions these three only.

-35-

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Science and Superstition in the Eighteenth Century: A Study of the Treatment of Science in Two Encyclopedias of 1725-1750: Chambers' Cyclopedia, London (1728); Zedler's Universal Lexicon, Leipzig (1732-1750)
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Table of Contents 5
  • Chapter I- Introduction 7
  • Chapter II- Chambers'' Cyclopedia and the History of Science 12
  • Chapter III- Zedler''s Grosses Vollständiges Universal Lexicon and the History of Science 35
  • Chapter IV- Conclusion 74
  • Bibliography 78
  • Index 81
  • Vita 83
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