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Topic: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
Replies: 164   Last Post: Mar 12, 2010 2:43 AM

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Andrew Usher

Posts: 813
Registered: 12/13/04
Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
Posted: Dec 27, 2009 8:52 AM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply

John Stafford wrote:
> I have come into this thread late with a poor browser. Excuse me if I
> ask a stupid question.


It's not stupid. It's actually pertinent to the subject of this thread
- though I still haven't gotten any answer for how Enlightenment ideas
might be related to the decline of Latin.

> When Latin fell from favor for international communication, scholarly or
> other, in what field (if any in particular) did it fail first? Was Latin
> particularly useful in the physical sciences or the philosophical
> discourse when it began its decline?


It all non-scholarly fields I think Latin was dead by 1700. In
philosophy, it wasn't much more alive: I can think of the major
philosophical works of the 18c. written in English, French, or German:
even Leibniz wrote his philosophy originally in French! In history,
probably likewise: Gibbon considered writing his magnum opus in
French, but certainly not in Latin. It is in more technical fields,
mainly, that it remained an alternative for some time. Its
obsolescence does not seem to be because Latin was not understood,
though, which is why I asked the question.

Andrew Usher


Date Subject Author
12/24/09
Read Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
Andrew Usher
12/24/09
Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
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12/25/09
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Read Re: Latin, the Enlightenment, and science
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12/27/09
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