A history of knowledge pdf free download

a history of knowledge pdf free download

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    Even for a synopsis that only a few sentences really give a broad picture of moving my imagination. This book is very I recommend to read. Isentences really give a broad picture of moving my imagination. She is currently a director of the German Historical Institute in Washington DC, where under her auspices the history of knowledge has developed into a prioritized research area. The history free knowledge is potentially a vast field.

    Approaching society and culture in all their complexity, gistory history of knowledge will broaden and deepen our understanding of how humans have created knowledge over the course of the past. A long-standing director of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin and one of the leading history hisotry her discipline, Daston is well equipped to address the issue.

    She begins by dating the origins of the free of science as a scholarly branch knowledge the mid-twentieth century. A ot denominator pdf the foundational works of the discipline was that the scientific revo- lution represented a historical transformation of the first magnitude, and download its core narratives were centred on this seminal event in early modern Europe.

    According to Daston, this knowlege interpretation was subsequently challenged by a historicist approach, best exempli- fied by Thomas S. As a consequence, the history of science has distanced itself from the old, teleological metanarrative knowlefge the rise of modern, Western science, which used to be so instrumental for its identity. But what are we then historians of? Daston asks. A usefully vague portmanteau, she argues, it has the advantage that it is not bound to a specific modern Western understanding of science.

    Instead, it comprehends Hellenistic alchemy and indigenous Peru- vian botany as well as the post-war social sciences and practices of knowledge that are very remote from anything resembling latter-day science. At the same time, its ample and nebulous character is also problematic. She also stresses the many problems that remain to be solved. Nevertheless, the his- tory of historj may develop into something that more adequately describes what historians of science actually do today.

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    In the long run, it might also provide narratives that are not based on the rise of the Western scientific standard. Another contemporary framing of the history of knowledge, briefly mentioned by Daston, comes thanks to the renaissance in the history of the humanities seen in very recent years. This renewed interest has been inspired in part by the history of science, and aims at a more integrative history, which goes beyond the study of individual disci- plines.

    Rens Bod and his colleagues have led the way with this new brand of scholarship: they have organized a number of conferences in recent years and published several books.


    Like in many other regions of the world, cultural knowoedge has been an important historiographical current in the Nordic count- ries in recent decades. With its emphasis knkwledge constructions, concepts, worldviews, images, narratives, and discourses, cultural history has enriched historical writing and opened up new vistas. Yet as we approach the s, that new cultural history is not so new any more. This is as true in the Nordic countries as elsewhere.

    These texts sparked our curiosity, for, despite our differing empirical interests, we all registered that an analytical focus on circulation could inform and alter our own research practices. Though we could not settle on a common understanding or definition of the concept, we became confident that it constituted a promising trajectory for developing the history of knowledge.

    In order to downlozd the concept further we conducted empirical case studies, delved into new strands of litera- ture, and discussed our findings and theoretical considerations with one another. The present volume speaks for this growing interest among Nordic historians, and our conviction that the concept of the circulation downlkad knowledge has the potential to transform historical research. We editors have not sought to harmonize the contributions; instead, we offer a plurality of interpretations that shed light on the differences.

    This volume is part of the ongoing explorations of the history of knowledge, and it seeks downllad spur—not to settle—scholarly discussion. This introduction thus brings together the somewhat disjointed pdt discussion of knowledge movement that has inspired our own explorations. In what follows, then, we concentrate on Wissens- geschichte of the Swiss model and on the history of science, particularly the global history of science and the history of popular science.

    a history of knowledge pdf free download

    Their take can be summed up in three points. First, the hishory of circulation means that the materiality and mediality of knowledge is taken very seriously. Sarasin and Kilcher postulate that knowledge does not move freely, but is always embedded in social contexts, and rests essentially on a material basis. In their vocabulary, it is objects that circulate.

    Second, Sarasin and Kilcher question the traditional historical ffee with origins and novelty. They claim that it is impossible to identify fixed origins for various forms of knowledge; instead, all knowledge is continuously formed in cultural processes and shaped by power relations.

    Third, vree emphasize that knowledge is not everywhere and is not equally accessible to all. They reject as idealistic the dreams of a free, unregulated circulation of knowledge, arguing that any com- prehensive analysis of knowledge circulation must take the political dimension off account, along with all the inhibitions, detours, and blockages. The concept of circulation started to gain traction in the field in August when the American, British, and Canadian societies for the history of science held their fifth joint meeting in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

    His talk was subsequently published in Isis, the flagship journal in the discipline of history of science. How does it cease to be the exclusive property of a single individual or group and become part of the taken for granted understanding of much wider groups of people? The standard method has been to conduct detailed analyses of how specific actors have produced scientific knowledge in particular local, material, and mundane settings.

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    Secord acknowledges that this collect- ive endeavour has succeeded in demystifying scientific activities, but argues that its proponents have paid too little attention to the wider societal importance of this scientific knowledge. He emphasizes that this larger significance is often assumed, but is rarely demonstrated empirically. To this end, he urges his fellow historians of science to examine audiences, readers, and mediations as rigorously as they situate scientific experiments and explorations.

    This theoretical download, which is similar to that expressed by the Zurich school, eradicates all distinctions between the production and communication of knowledge, and so helps the historian shift empirical focus. However, he agrees that it is a position that has yet to make a mark on the way empirical investigations are carried out in practice. Explorations of how knowledge moves after its inception are habitually given secondary status. Secord wants these processes to be explored with as much analytical precision and attention to nuance as seen in studies of laboratory hustory.

    While hhistory is little sign of a general shift in scholarly priorities, from production to circulation, many historians of fref have nevertheless become markedly more interested in how knowledge circulates. This is downlload true of two fields: the early modern global history of science and the history of popular science. To date, the concept of circulation has made the greatest impres- sion on global historians of science—those studying colonial and intercultural encounters during the early modern period.

    The keen interest in circulation over vast geographic distances was prompted by a long-standing dissatisfaction with Eurocentric accounts of the scien- tific revolution, which held that downloas science was born in Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, from where it spread to the rest of the world in the course of colonial expansion. This grand narrative is closely associated with classical modernization theories, and presupposes a simplistic diffusionist model by which scientific knowledge is governed by centripetal forces, spreading from the centre to the periphery because it is rational, true, and useful.

    In circulating, things, men free notions often transform themselves. Circulation is therefore a value-loaded term which implies an incremental aspect and not the simple re- production across space q already formed structures and notions. Pdf the perspective of science studies, for example, a history of knowledge has a different focus than someone who studies the effects of information technologies from the viewpoint of the social sciences.

    By the same token, a hermeneutically trained philologist will history different questions concerning knowledge production than someone using a deconstructivist approach; even within disciplines there is no common understanding of what a history of knowledge ought to be. Our goal is to initiate a broader approach to the history of knowledge by inviting scholars of literature, culture, philosophy, art, history, science and technology studies.

    We are certainly aware of the manifold connotations of the term knowledge itself, and we want to approach it in its knowledge complexity. A common theme in the humanities and the social sciences seems to be the understanding that knowledge indeed has a history. Since Plato, knowledge had been defined as justified true belief. But can something be true and have a history at the same time? Furthermore, what counts as a valid form of justification and under which cultural conditions?

    Who draws the line between belief and knowledge and how? Should we write the history of knowledge or the history of beliefs considered to be knowledge?

    And what about the recent criticism concerning the platonic definition of knowledge and the kf of focus towards forms of implicit knowledge, body knowledge, the representation and mediatization of knowledge, the hierarchisation from factual knowlefge to the relational and structural knowledge, and the differentiation between data, information and knowledge? There is little doubt that the history of science has played a pivotal role in shaping the genealogy of modern knowledge societies.

    The sciences have long been the preferred object for the study of the cultural conditions of knowledge ddownload the tradition of Western cultures. However, a history of knowledge cannot be reduced to the history of science. Rather than equating cultural progress with the successful global spread of scientific knowledge, history of knowledge tries to unravel the complex role of the sciences in society and to focus on the epistemic and technological interplay between different socio- cultural contexts.

    History of knowledge therefore favors figures of translation and circulation rather than persuasion and distribution of knowledge. It scrutinizes epistemic practices and technical procedures, elaborates on sownload various forms of knowledge representation and mediation, and problematizes questions of power in the Foucaultian sense. It extends the historical problem of knowledge to cultural, technological, socio-political and economic fields of study.

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