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Ordre naturel, désordre culturel ? Michel Adanson au laboratoire des mots

ContributorsRatcliff, Marc
Published inPenser l’ordre naturel 1680-1810, Editors Nathalie Vuillemin, Adrien Paschoud, p. 199-222
PublisherOxford : Voltaire Foundation
  • Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century
Publication date2012

This article examines the work of the French naturalist Michel Adanson from the perspective of language. In addition to his attempt to reform natural history in search of the natural order of classification, Adanson was also the bearer of a second attempt at reform: that of ortography. Dating from the mid-1750s, such an attempt at reform was a rare event in the world of natural science, and indirectly competed with the reform attempts of French grammarians and lexicographers, a brief history of which is presented in this article. However, a number of internal and external obstacles, coupled with Adanson's ignorance of the debates in the literary field, led to the abandonment of his reform. This episode in the exploration of the word laboratory took place against a changing backdrop of scholarly interrogation of scientific language.

  • Michel Adanson
  • Eighteenth century science
  • Charles Bonnet
  • History of scientific language
  • Spelling reform
  • History of systematics
Citation (ISO format)
RATCLIFF, Marc. Ordre naturel, désordre culturel ? Michel Adanson au laboratoire des mots. In: Penser l’ordre naturel 1680-1810. Oxford : Voltaire Foundation, 2012. p. 199–222. (Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century)
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Proceedings chapter (Published version)
  • PID : unige:175470

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