The early modern radical savant did not travel so much as he read travel narratives. From Montaigne’s cannibals to Locke’s talking parrot, from Leibniz’s plans to create a race of “warrior slaves” to Diderot’s utopian Voyage de Bougainville, a kind of ‘science fiction’ or ‘deterritorialization’ of the narrative of the familiar, Eurocentric, Plato-to-Hegel narrative of Western philosophy can be discerned. A key feature of these artificial travel narratives is that they serve as a basis for proclaiming atheism (and China plays a well-known role here). The radical savant described here is neither the solitary meditator, nor the participant in communal knowledge-gathering projects for national glory (Bacon, Linnaeus). He (for it is always a he in this case) is less a producer of a stable, cumulative body of knowledge than a destabilizer of forms of existing knowledge.
Wolfe, Charles T. (Corresponding)
|Titolo:||Travel as a Basis for Atheism: Free-Thinking as Deterritorialization in the Early Radical Enlightenment|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2014|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||3.1 Articolo su libro|