Essick, Robert N. William Blake and the Language of Adam. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989.
List of Plates ix
Note on Texts x
1. Adam Naming the Beasts and its Companions 6
2. In Pursuit of the Motivated Sign 28
3. Natural Signs and the Fall of Language 104
4. Language and Modes of Production 160
5. The Return to Logos 195
Afterword: Romantic Languages and Modern
Here two usually distinct lines of humanistic inquiry intersect: Blake studies and the history of linguistics and the scientific revolution. Conceptions of language and signification, evolving with the rationalism and empiricism of early modern philosophy and science, are challenged by Blake’s radically different world view.
Of particular interest here is Chapter 2, in which Blake’s view of language is contrasted with the philosophical languages of the 17th and 18th centuries—Wilkins, Dalgarno, etc.—a comparison one does not often see. See also pp. 133-135 for more on John Wilkins.
Presumably here one can learn more about the historically evolving dialectic between scientism and romanticism in the modern world.