Genres and the appropriation of science

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According to the theory of appropriation, the same text can be perceived in different ways by different audiences. There are no stable meanings, but significations are constructed in different ways according to the competence of the audience. This article sets out to explore whether and how different appropriations can be verified in texts targeted at different audiences. Scientific<i>loci communes</i>disseminated through literate layers of society in late medieval and early modern England providing common ground, and the scale from learned to popular emerged. Genres provide the key to different appropriations, and differences between the layers of writing are apparent: simplified statements and applications are highlighted in popular texts, while learned writings provide more theoretical, specific and accurate descriptions.


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