Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Nature of things
(931 words)

1. Definition, functions, and related topoi

The concept of the “nature of things” is a topos that has been used from Greco-Roman antiquity to the present, a formulaic expression that is supposed to refute an argument or justify a decision. Citing the nature of things represents an attempt to make an outcome seem self-evident and objective with reference to a pre-existing order.  The decision in question is present…

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Eisfeld, Jens, “Nature of things”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 02 June 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_024599>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200128

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