Abstract and Keywords
The organization of knowledge in early modernity concerns both the institutional organization of types of learning and the study of persons engaged with such learning (traditionally “men of letters”) with regard to their professions and to their forms of exchange and sociability. It also deals with the intellectual organization that articulates and structures hierarchically the different fields of knowledge during a crucial period of their mutation (humanism, scientific revolution, the Enlightenment). The central notion that orients this ensemble is the “Republic of Letters,” which conveys the European dimension of the space of learning and conditions the practices of communication (correspondence, periodicals, circulation of manuscripts and printed works). From the age of philology (ars critica) to that of the Encyclopédie, the world of learning reacted in its own way to the political and religious history of an epoch in turmoil in order to maintain the standards of critical reasoning and to permit the emergence of new forms of knowledge.
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