Questions and Their Predecessors
This prologue provides an overview of the history of the age of questions, and more specifically how “the x question” emerged and proliferated beginning in the 1830s. It considers when and why people started thinking in terms of “the x question,” what the phrase meant, and whether there was such a thing as an age of questions. It examines the role played by the scholastic question, or quaestio disputata, in the age of questions; how the so-called querelle des femmes that was formulated in France in the sixteenth century morphed into the question des femmes, or woman question; catechisms as likely ancestors of questions; and forerunners of later questions, including the Palladium, a publication that opened a venue in the public sphere similar to the one created by the London debating societies. Finally, it explores how official venues lent their forms to the “age of questions”.
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