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A City for ‘Natural Man’

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Abstract

During the 18th century naturalism was revived during the enlightenment and shaped visions of the city. The first part of the chapter shows how a pathological logic of harming the city/body was used to propose a variety of urban interventions. However, at the same time, albeit not a universal assumption, cities were also assumed to improve human breeding. Underlying these more theoretical views of urban development was the real problem of exercising power over an urban polity and guaranteeing a city’s survival through food supply. I conclude by arguing that naturalistic metaphors could construct the city as a place of hope or despair. But at the same time, authority and power were embodied and derived from the very pressing problem of providing for inhabitants’ corporeal needs.

Keywords

  • Enlightenment
  • Paris
  • Bio-power
  • Nicolas Delamare

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Riahi (2015, 149).

  2. 2.

    Ledoux (1804, 104).

  3. 3.

    Outram (2006, 27).

  4. 4.

    Ledoux (1804, 105).

  5. 5.

    Ladurie (1981, 288).

  6. 6.

    Vila (1998, 182).

  7. 7.

    As Le Roy Ladurie notes, this was also the time for the coining of the term ‘fonctionnaire’ in French to denote a civil servant (Ladurie 1981, 288).

  8. 8.

    Ladurie (1981, 288).

  9. 9.

    Ladurie (1981, 327)

  10. 10.

    Ladurie (1981, 290).

  11. 11.

    Vila (1998, 233).

  12. 12.

    Le Camus (1769, 349).

  13. 13.

    Pinto-Correia and Monteiro (2014).

  14. 14.

    Vandermonde (1756, 109).

  15. 15.

    Vandermonde (1756, 116).

  16. 16.

    Vandermonde (1756, 116).

  17. 17.

    Especially considering later mores surrounding the separation of races (Pinto-Correia and Monteiro 2014).

  18. 18.

    As explained in Chapters “Urban Social Hygiene” and “The City of Organic Regularity”.

  19. 19.

    Rowe (2017).

  20. 20.

    Henderson (2019, 55–56).

  21. 21.

    Le Prédour (1813, 17).

  22. 22.

    Adamantius and Melampus (1635).

  23. 23.

    Mercier (1782, Préface).

  24. 24.

    He is known as the author of a highly influential and popular vision of the future L’An 2440, rêve s’il en fut jamais’ (Literally: The Year 2440, a dream if there ever was one).

  25. 25.

    Are you a painter? The clashing liveries, varied physiognomies of the rarest models [...] will attract your brush (Mercier 1782, 5).

  26. 26.

    Mercier (1782, 15–16).

  27. 27.

    E.g. Jeanton (1934) and Varigny (1899).

  28. 28.

    Du Camp (1875).

  29. 29.

    Du Camp (1875, T1. p. 8).

  30. 30.

    Du Camp (1875, T1. p. 335).

  31. 31.

    Corbin (2004).

  32. 32.

    LSE Urban Age project. https://urbanage.lsecities.net/ Accessed 30 October 2021

  33. 33.

    National Geographic About Megacities. https://www.natgeotv.com/me/megacities/about Accessed 30 October 2021

  34. 34.

    Du Camp (1875, T1. p.8).

  35. 35.

    Du Camp (1875, T6, p. 39).

  36. 36.

    Corbin (2004).

  37. 37.

    Delamare (1722) Delamare’s work was raised from relative obscurity in the Twentieth Century by Michel Foucault who used it as one of his references in Discipline and Punish: the birth of the prison.

  38. 38.

    Fraile (2010).

  39. 39.

    Papayanis (2004, 17).

  40. 40.

    Fraile (2010).

  41. 41.

    Specifically, judges, police officers, attorneys, tax collectors, officers in charge of weighing grain etc. (Ladurie 1981, 334).

  42. 42.

    Delamare (1722, Préface).

  43. 43.

    A means of linking the physical and spiritual (Vila 1998, 43).

  44. 44.

    Il m’a parue que la santé, les vivres ...renferment tout ce qui peut estre désiré à cet égard (Delamare 1722, Préface).

  45. 45.

    J’ay même jugé à propos pour une plus parfaite intelligence d’y joindre une Description historique, & topographique de cette Ville Capitale [...] ses accroissemens sous nos Rois, ses differentes clostures, la grandeur, & la magnificence où elle est parvenuë aujourd’huy (Delamare 1722, Préface).

  46. 46.

    ’Marais et Jardins remplis de Légumes’.

  47. 47.

    Fraile (2010, 700).

  48. 48.

    Delamare (1729, Table des matières).

  49. 49.

    Delamare (1722, 1).

  50. 50.

    Delamare (1722, 1).

  51. 51.

    Delamare (1722, 330).

  52. 52.

    Fraile (2010).

  53. 53.

    Bachelard (1970, 24).

  54. 54.

    Bachelard (1961, 140) ‘On peut dire ...vraie’.

  55. 55.

    Bachelard (1970, 27) ‘...c’est la puissance souveraine qui tourne, en se jouant, le kaléidoscope des miniatures lointaines’.

  56. 56.

    Bachelard (1961, 160) ‘Du haut de sa tour le philosophe de la domination miniaturise l’univers’.

  57. 57.

    Bachelard (1970, 27) ‘C’est au niveau des petites forces ...poétique’.

  58. 58.

    quoting Michel Foucault, ‘natural history during the classical era could not conceive of biology. Up until the end of the 18th century, in effect, life did not exist. But only living beings’ (Foucault 1966, 173), quoted in (Barles 1999, 65).

  59. 59.

    Vicq-d’Azyr and de La Sarthe (1787, Avertissement de l’éditeur).

  60. 60.

    See Vila (1998, 80–111) for an analysis of Antoine Le Camus’ Médecine de L’Esprit.

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Amati, M. (2021). A City for ‘Natural Man’. In: The City and the Super-Organism. Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-3977-7_2

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