Rhetoric and natural history

buffon in polemical and literary context

Author: Jeff Loveland

Volume: 2001:03

Series: SVEC

Publication Date: 2001

Pages: 225

ISBN: 978-0-7294-0747-2

Price: £55


This book examines the rhetorical dimension of eighteenth-century natural history. It focuses on the French naturalist and literary stylist Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon, author of the bestselling multi-volume Histoire naturelle (1749-1789). Natural history as Buffon and his contemporaries knew it remains a fascinating object of study for its breadth, its cultural openness, and its disorderly energy. Rhetoric here is understood as a set of techniques for attracting and persuading an audience. As a contribution both to literary studies and to the history of science, Rhetoric and natural history adds to our understanding of the intellectual culture of the French Enlightenment.

1 Style
2 Final causes
3 The chain of being
4 Systems and theories
5 Mathematics
6 Nominalism
List of works cited


Revue de synthèse

Ce livre […] représente une étude subtile et intéressante de l’œuvre d’une très grande figure des Lumières.

Voltaire Foundation

We use cookies to help give you the best experience on our website. By continuing without changing your cookie settings, we assume you agree to this. Please read our cookie policy to find out more. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.