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The Royal Society and the decline of magic

Hunter, Michael (2011) The Royal Society and the decline of magic. Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London 65 (2), pp. 103-119. ISSN 0035-9149.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsnr.2010.0086

Abstract

Whereas some have asserted that the early Royal Society actively sought to discredit magical beliefs, others have seen ideas of this kind as integral to the Society's 'nature' in its early years. This paper argues that, whatever the magical commitments of individual Fellows, the Society's corporate policy simply sidelined such pursuits. Yet, insofar as the result was that magic was excluded by default from the proper realm of scientific enquiry, this attitude was to prove paradoxically influential (although its roots have been retrospectively misconstrued to an extent that is significant in itself).

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Royal Society, magic, witchcraft, astrology, boundary work
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > History, Classics and Archaeology
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2011 10:39
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:21
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/4315

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