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A moderate excess: Argumentation and conceptual change in the luxury debate in Swedishdissertations, 1722–1779
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Research into the luxury debate in 18th century Sweden has focused on poetry and literature, the wording of decrees and the minutes of the Swedish riksdag. One source material largely left unexplored is the body of dissertations published by Swedish universities of the time. Not only is this an unfortunate omission as the universities were important intellectual centres, but also because they had a distinct culture, heavily influenced by Latin and the classics, in which luxury condemnations played a pivotal role. Building on the notion that ideas are best studied as arguments in debates, this master’s thesis examines twelve dissertations published in Sweden in the years 1722–1779 using models of conceptual change and argumentation analysis as theoretical approaches. The results indicate that the academic debate on luxury, through its focus on classical antiquity and conceptual definition, distinguished itself from other contemporary Swedish contributions to the debate, and that the interpretation of its characteristics must proceed from both the dissertation genre and the learned culture of university. The investigation furthermore stresses the importance of the university as a venue for reception of ideas in the latter part of the Early Modern Period and emphasises the dissertations as a central medium in this process.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 85 p.
Keyword [en]
luxury, university, dissertations, Neo-Latin, concepts, argumentation, rhetoric, antiquity, classics
Keyword [sv]
lyx, universitet, dissertationer, nylatin, koncept, argumentation, retorik, antiken, klassiker
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-294861OAI: diva2:931553
Available from: 2016-06-02 Created: 2016-05-29 Last updated: 2016-06-02Bibliographically approved

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