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'Concerning the Art of Flying': John Wilkins, utopiste

Maus de Rolley, T; Vermeir, K; (2021) 'Concerning the Art of Flying': John Wilkins, utopiste. In: Poma, R and Weill-Parot, N, (eds.) Les utopies scientifiques au Moyen Âge et à la Renaissance. (pp. 137-155). Sismel Edizioni del Galluzzo: Florence, Italy. Green open access

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This article examines at close quarters the chapters on the «Art of Flying» published in the Mathematicall Magick (1648) by the Anglican clergyman John Wilkins (1614-1672), Warden of Wadham College and one of the founders of the Royal Society. Wilkins, it argues, did not conceive of the flying artifacts and techniques discussed in those chapters as mere fictional devices meant to remain confined within the pages of books. Bringing these chapters into dialogue with Wilkins’s sources and contemporary discourses on artificial arts, we contend that the possibility to actually achieve human flight was important to Wilkins. It was to a large extent a matter of practice, trial, experiment, and building skills, and it required to overcome deep-rooted prejudices about providence and the boundaries of nature. With this discussion of paradoxical wonders,Wilkins made a case for the importance of conjectural thinking in the development of science.

Type: Book chapter
Title: 'Concerning the Art of Flying': John Wilkins, utopiste
ISBN-13: 978-88-9290-084-4
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://www.sismel.it/pubblicazioni/1748-les-utopi...
Language: French
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > SELCS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10140564
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