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Lazzaro Spallanzani e la guerra delle lingue scientifiche

ContributorsRatcliff, Marc
Published inLa sfida della modernità, Editors Walter Bernardi, Marta Stefani, p. 375-392
Presented at Atti del Convegno internazionale di studi nel bicentenario della morte di Lazzaro Spallanzani
PublisherFirenze : Olschki
Publication date2000

The aim of this text is to present the position taken by Lazzaro Spallanzani within the problematic debate on scientific language in the second half of the eighteenth century. During the 1760s the Latinist Girolamo Ferri railed against Spallanzani for writing a scientific text in Italian. Renato Mazzolini interpreted this episode in the general context of the competition between the Italian, Florentine and French languages, involved together in a process of revocation of Latin used as a scientific language in the peninsula. I propose a more specific interpretation of this episode, taking it as a sign of the war of scientific languages between the two traditions of systematics vs. experimentalism that took place in the second half of the eighteenth century. In fact, the former was strongly influenced by Linnaeus' formalization of the Latin language of systematics, while the latter was a shared pragmatic language with little codification.

  • Lazzaro Spallanzani
  • Carl Linné
  • Charles Bonnet
  • Eighteenth century science
  • History of scientific language
  • Babelization of scientific communication
  • History of experimentalism
  • Universal language
Affiliation Not a UNIGE publication
Citation (ISO format)
RATCLIFF, Marc. Lazzaro Spallanzani e la guerra delle lingue scientifiche. In: La sfida della modernità. Firenze : Olschki, 2000. p. 375–392.
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Proceedings chapter (Published version)
  • PID : unige:175394

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