ERC NOSCEMUS and LBI Workshop “Pathos in Neo-Latin Scientific Writing”

The upcoming ERC NOSCEMUS workshop, to be held on the 12th–13th November 2021 in Innsbruck, is co-organized with the LBI for Neo-Latin Studies and dedicated to the topic of “Pathos in Neo-Latin Scientific Writing”: A close look at Neo-Latin scientific works—be they encyclopaedic treatises or dialogues, experiment reports or monographs—shows, in a stunning number of cases, high emotions, enthusiastic expressions of gratitude, praise, wonder and much more. Thus we find Tycho Brahe arduously defending the mathematical disciplines in an oration of 1621; Athanasius Kircher describing the intriguing and horrific features of nature in a careful tableau of a volcanic eruption in his Mundus subterraneus (1665); or Johannes Kepler filling his Astronomia nova (1609) with grand style and emotional appeals to the reader along the way to his discovery of celestial motions.

What was the motivation behind such emotional outbursts in Neo-Latin scientific texts? To what ends did these authors use the rhetorical device of pathos in their works and how exactly did they go about it? This workshop will investigate the application of this tool, discussing i.a. the following topics:

  • the specific stylistic expressions of pathos in scientific texts and criteria for their differentiation;
  • contemporary theoretical reflections about the style of scientific discourse;
  • literary models for stylistic expressions (e.g. Lucretius, Seneca) and innovative deviations;
  • specific generic traditions, e.g. the dialogue, didactic poem, oration, prose treatise, letter;
  • historical changes to the phenomenon through the centuries (ca. 1550–1850);
  • the role of physico-theology in the employment of pathos.

If you wish to join the event via zoom or for more information, please contact Johanna.Luggin@neolatin.lbg.ac.at.

Programm

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