Preliminary Historical and Conceptual Presentation of “L’Histoire Naturelle” in Selected Major Works of some Leading Naturalists. The Relation of Natural Science to Theology or Spirituality in their Works

  • Miklós VassányiEmail author
Part of the International Archives of the History of Ideas / Archives internationales d'histoire des idées book series (ARCH, volume 202)


As we have anticipated under Section 1 of Chapter 1, the more or less homogeneous group of natural scientists called, in French, “les naturalistes”, enjoyed a very high reputation in their time. Vast numbers of readers became acquainted with their works, which were frequently translated into other languages as well (cf. the books of e.g. Derham or Nieuwentyt). The French term “naturaliste” meant, at the time, a “natural scientist interested mainly in geology and biology”. In the grand Encyclopédie, Diderot defines the word in the following manner: “Applied to a person who has studied nature and who is versed in the knowledge of natural things, especially concerning metals, minerals, stones, plants and animals.


Natural Science Natural Theology Natural Thing Phenomenal World French Edition 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Arts Department of General HumanitiesKároli University of the Hungarian Reformed ChurchBudapestHungary

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