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European History Commons

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History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

2015

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Full-Text Articles in European History

Les Entretiens De Fontenelle: The Rhetorical Strategies Of A Cosmological Dialogue, Mark R. Komanecky Jr. Apr 2015

Les Entretiens De Fontenelle: The Rhetorical Strategies Of A Cosmological Dialogue, Mark R. Komanecky Jr.

Senior Theses and Projects

Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle’s Conversations on the Plurality of Worlds is one of the first major works of the French Enlightenment. First published in 1686, the work is organized as a series of dialogues between a philosopher and a marquise who discuss scientific topics such as heliocentrism and the possibility of extra-terrestrial life. Treating these subjects was a risky affair; less than a century earlier Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake, and fifty years before Fontenelle, Galileo was arrested for “holding, teaching, and defending” heliocentrism. Fontenelle employed several rhetorical and stylistic strategies in the work: he wrote ...