The Mirror of Information in Early Modern England

John Wilkins and the Universal Character

Authors: Fleming, James Dougal

  • Provides a new approach to the field of seventeenth-century studies and intellectual history
  • Examines John Wilkins and the idea of a“real character” (the basis for a proposed universal communications) in terms of modern information theory and Gadamerian phenomenology
  • Asks fundamental questions about IT on the seventeenth-century platform
see more benefits

Buy this book

eBook $84.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-40301-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-40300-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This book examines the seventeenth-century project for a "real" or "universal" character: a scientific and objective code. Focusing on the Essay towards a real character, and a philosophical language (1668) of the polymath John Wilkins, Fleming provides a detailed explanation of how a real character actually was supposed to work. He argues that the period movement should not be understood as a curious episode in the history of language, but as an illuminating avatar of information technology. A non-oral code, supposedly amounting to a script of things, the character was to support scientific discourse through a universal database, in alignment with cosmic truths. In all these ways, J.D. Fleming argues, the world of the character bears phenomenological comparison to the world of modern digital information—what has been called the infosphere. 


About the authors

James Dougal Fleming is Associate Professor of English at Simon Fraser University, Canada. He studies the history and theory of interpretation and understanding. In 2012, he co-founded the international conference series Scientiae: Disciplines of Knowing in the Early Modern World. This is his third book.

Table of contents (6 chapters)

  • Introduction: The Mirror of Information in Early Modern England

    Fleming, James Dougal

    Pages 1-29

  • Mercurial Messages: What Is Information?

    Fleming, James Dougal

    Pages 31-74

  • Unreal Characters: Technology and Orality in the Seventeenth Century

    Fleming, James Dougal

    Pages 75-114

  • Through a Glass, Literally: From Shorthand to Wilkins’s Essay

    Fleming, James Dougal

    Pages 115-167

  • The Next Big Thing: How the Real Character Works

    Fleming, James Dougal

    Pages 169-225

Buy this book

eBook $84.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-40301-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-40300-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

Services for this book

Loading...

Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Mirror of Information in Early Modern England
Book Subtitle
John Wilkins and the Universal Character
Authors
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-40301-4
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-40301-4
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-40300-7
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XI, 292
Topics