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Philosophy - Philosophical Traditions | The Natural philosophy of Emanuel Swedenborg - A Study in the Conceptual Metaphors of the Mechanistic

The Natural philosophy of Emanuel Swedenborg

A Study in the Conceptual Metaphors of the Mechanistic World-View

Duner, David

2013, XII, 476 p.

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  • Comprehensive study of Emanuel Swedenborg's mechanistic worldview and metaphorical way of thinking up to the year 1734
  • New perspective of the mechanistic philosophy of the 17th and 18th century: the cognitive metaphors of the mind and its role in the formation of scientific theories
  • Casts new light on Swedenborg's later spiritual philosophy and doctrine of correspondences
  • Winner of the Pro Lingua Translation Award for promoting eminent Swedish research​

Although Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) is commonly known for his spiritual philosophy, his early career was focused on natural science. During this period, Swedenborg thought the world was like a gigantic machine, following the laws of mechanics and geometry. This volume analyses this mechanistic world-view from the cognitive perspective, by means of a study of the metaphors in Swedenborg’s texts. The author argues that these conceptual metaphors are vital skills of the creative mind and scientific thinking, used to create visual analogies and abstract ideas. This means that Swedenborg’s mechanistic and geometrical world-view allowed him to perceive the world as mechanical and geometrical. Swedenborg thought "with" books and pens. The reading gave him associations and clues, forced him to interpret, and gave him material for his intellectual development.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Cognitive history - Early modern science - Emanuel Swedenborg - Mechanistic philosophy - Metaphors in science - Swedenborg - Swedenborg Principles of Chemistry - Swedenborg principia - Swedenborg principles and mineralogical - Swedenborg science - Swedenborg's brain - World Machine

Related subjects » History of Science - Philosophical Traditions - Philosophy

Table of contents 

1. Introduction.- 2. The space.- 3. The Sign.- 4. The wave.- 5. The sphere.- 6. The point.- 7. The spiral.- 8. The infinite.- 9. Conclusion.​

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