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Virtue of Sympathy – Magic, Philosophy, and Literature in Seventeenth-Century England - Yale Scholarship Online
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Virtue of Sympathy: Magic, Philosophy, and Literature in Seventeenth-Century England

Seth Lobis


In readings of a diverse group of texts from the seventeenth century through the early eighteenth, this book addresses a crucial and contested topic in literary and philosophical writing of the period: sympathy. Correcting the standard history of the emergence of sympathy in Anglo-American culture, it argues that the seventeenth century was a critical period of transition between two major ideas of sympathy, the first—now obsolete—referring to magical correspondences in the universe and the second—the familiar, modern idea—to fellow-feeling between human beings. Whereas most treatments of symp ... More

Keywords: Sympathy, Magic, Philosophy, Literature, Seventeenth century, England, John Milton

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780300192032
Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2015 DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300192032.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Seth Lobis, author
Claremont McKenna College, California