CIRCULATING KNOWLEDGE OR SUPERSTITION?: THE DUTCH DEBATE ON DIVINATION

Abstract : This article describes the Dutch reception of an international controversy about the divining rod. gives us a beautiful picture of the ways in which natural philosophy was practiced and disseminated in the Low Countries at the turn of the seventeenth century. It offers us an idea of the scientific demonstrations going on in Dutch bourgeois domestic settings, the personal contacts by which scientific claims were transferred, as well as the ways in which controversies were initiated and perpetuated. This sometimes intense and venomous controversy between advocates and opponents of the divining rod developed in journal publications, books and pamphlets, enrolling the local doctors, literati and savants, but also drawing in intellectuals of international stature. On a theoretical level, I will take the notion of 'circulation of knowledge' seriously. Asking whether 'knowledge' - both skills and theoretical knowledge - is something that can be circulated has led me to distinguish three crucial levels in the circulation of knowledge.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00609394
Contributor : Koen Vermeir <>
Submitted on : Monday, July 18, 2011 - 11:28:37 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, February 21, 2019 - 12:22:02 PM
Long-term archiving on : Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 2:31:17 AM

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Koen Vermeir. CIRCULATING KNOWLEDGE OR SUPERSTITION?: THE DUTCH DEBATE ON DIVINATION. Sven Dupré and Christoph Lüthy. Silent Messengers. The Circulation of Material Objects of Knowledge in the Early Modern Low Countries, LIT, pp.293-328, 2011. ⟨halshs-00609394⟩

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