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Inventing Human ScienceEighteenth-Century Domains$
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Christopher Fox, Roy Porter, and Robert Wokler

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780520200104

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520200104.001.0001

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Introduction: How to Prepare a Noble Savage: The Spectacle of Human Science

Introduction: How to Prepare a Noble Savage: The Spectacle of Human Science

(p.1) One Introduction: How to Prepare a Noble Savage: The Spectacle of Human Science
Inventing Human Science

Christopher Fox

University of California Press

Central to the intellectual revolution of the Enlightenment was the ambition of creating the science of man. That the human and social sciences were born during the eighteenth century is a largely accepted view. In his project, David Hume shared with contemporaries a new-felt need to account for moral as natural things. Science itself has been the subject of vast scrutiny, both as a system of inquiry and in respect to its global impact. In the ensuing turmoil, people have heard much about the mystifications of scientific rationality, notably through the writings of Michael Foucault. The last several decades have also seen an explosion in eighteenth-century studies and new techniques of inquiry which have insisted that we should not take the scientific rhetoric at face value.

Keywords:   Enlightenment, social science, human nature, Michael Foucault, David Hume, scientific rhetoric

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