Creating a specialized discourse: the case of the Philosophical Transactions

Abstract : The Royal Society was founded in 1660 and was made up largely of virtuosi. The Royal Society depended on their subscriptions for survival. Although the Philosophical Transactions had the imprimatur of the Royal Society, it was a private venture of Henry Oldenburg, one of the Royal Society's secretaries. The venture was conceived of as a way of making money. The Philosophical Transactions first appeared in 1665, and by the end of the first year most entries were verbatim extracts of letters, with introductions by Oldenburg; he intervened more extensively only when necessary, such as when translation was needed, or to summarize longer items such as books. Ten years later, he seemed to be using the same strategies that he had established by the end of 1665. An analysis of the thematic structure of these documents shows that they are moving towards the experimental style of the eighteenth century.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - 9:28:02 AM
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David Banks. Creating a specialized discourse: the case of the Philosophical Transactions. ASp - La revue du GERAS, revue.org (en ligne) / Bordeaux : GERAS (imprimé), 2009, pp.29-44. ⟨10.4000/asp.98⟩. ⟨hal-00707589⟩

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