Maurice S. Lee

in Uncertain Chances

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199797578
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932412 | DOI:

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The introduction offers a working definition of chance as causal indeterminacy. It also outlines the rise of chance and probability in modern Western thought, paying particular attention to its spread through the sciences and into broader cultural practices of the nineteenth century. The role of chance and probability is crucial for the study of nineteenth-century American literature, with special bearing on longstanding questions of faith, epistemology, and aesthetics. Synopses of the book’s chapters on Poe, Melville, Douglass, Thoreau, and Dickinson appear here, as do framing discussions of transatlanticism, romanticism, pragmatism, and the relation of literature and science.

Keywords: American literature; nineteenth century; chance; science; religion; skepticism; probability; romanticism; pragmatism

Chapter.  7549 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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