4. The reference here is to the spate of popular works in the eighteenth century designed to make the essentials of some art or science understandable to the interested amateur. In their titles they commonly had phrases such as “Method for,” “Elements of,” “Library of” and “Abridgment of.” The philosophes considered one of their most honorable functions was to popularize certain progressive ideas, and they did not sneer at “popular” works.


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