‘Consciousness’ and ‘Public’: Two Case Studies of Text- and Data-Mining Eighteenth-Century Collections Online (ECCO) 

Mikko Tolonen (University of Helsinki)

Friday 12 May 2017, 4.30 – 6.00 pm

Room 2.36, School of History, Classics and Archaeology, William Robertson Wing, Old Medical School, Teviot Place

This paper shows how the uses of the term ‘consciousness’ developed throughout eighteenth-century Britain from its Lockean premises towards a broader polysemy. It will then turn to map different uses of the term ‘public’ with an aim to show how the late eighteenth century is a distinctive period in a Habermasian sense, compared to earlier times with respect to pamphleteering in particular. The motivation for the paper is thus to give two different examples to demonstrate that analyses of clusters of different words and how they change over time can have a significant impact on eighteenth-century intellectual history. This paper is based on multidisciplinary work carried out by COMHIS Collective research group at the University of Helsinki.

Mikko Tolonen is an intellectual historian. His main research interest is in the Scottish Enlightenment. His monograph, Mandeville and Hume. Anatomists of Civil Society was published in 2013 by the Voltaire Foundation in Oxford.

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