Talk by Emily Thomas (Durham University): Travel Writing as Thought Experiments: Science, Francis Bacon, and Margaret Cavendish’s Blazing World

When:
8 February 2018 @ 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
2018-02-08T17:00:00+00:00
2018-02-08T18:30:00+00:00
Where:
University College Dublin

Abstract:

Travel has a long and intimate history with philosophy. Travel also has a long and intimate relationship with fiction. Sometimes travel fiction acts as ‘thought experiments’, experiments that we can run through in our heads.

This talk explores a 1666 fiction travelogue, Margaret Cavendish’s Blazing World. In the novel, a virtuous young lady is kidnapped and travels by boat through the North Pole into a new world. I argue this is no mere piece of science fiction. Instead, this travelogue acts as a distinctly philosophical thought experiment, exploring the philosophy of science, utopias, and what it means to be real.

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