By Peter Burke
Peter Burke follows up his magisterial Social background of data, choosing up the place the 1st quantity left off round 1750 on the ebook of the French Encyclopédie and following the tale via to Wikipedia. just like the prior quantity, it deals a social heritage (or a retrospective sociology of data) within the feel that it focuses now not on members yet on teams, associations, collective practices and common trends.
The booklet is split into three elements. the 1st argues that actions which seem to be undying - amassing wisdom, analysing, disseminating and using it - are actually time-bound and take diversified varieties in several classes and areas. the second one half attempts to counter the tendency to jot down a triumphalist historical past of the 'growth' of data via discussing losses of data and the cost of specialization. The 3rd half deals geographical, sociological and chronological overviews, contrasting the adventure of centres and peripheries and arguing that every of the most tendencies of the interval - professionalization, secularization, nationalization, democratization, and so on, coexisted and interacted with its opposite.
As ever, Peter Burke offers a breath-taking variety of scholarship in prose of exemplary readability and accessibility. This hugely expected moment quantity can be crucial studying around the humanities and social sciences.
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Extra info for A Social History of Knowledge, Volume 2: From the Encyclopaedia to Wikipedia
Lewis described the planned expedition as ‘about to penetrate a country at least two thousand miles in width, on which the foot of civilized man had never trodden’. Clark did the 39 surveying and mapping, while Lewis was responsible for natural history. The explorers found animals unknown to western science, such as prairie dogs, the plains horned toad and the eastern woodrat, and they sent back botanical, zoological and mineral specimens. Lewis and Clark were also instructed to learn the names of the Indian tribes that they encountered, their languages, occupations, tools and customs.
Cf. Davenport and Prusak (1998), 1–24. 18 Drucker (1993), 41. Cf. Messer-Davidow et al. (1993); Foucault (1997); Worsley (1997). 19 Burke (2000), 18. 20 Ryle (1949); Thelen (2004). 21 Foucault (1997), 8. 22 Furner and Supple (1990), 46. On the club, Phillipson (2010), 40, 129. 23 Raj (2007); Short (2009). 2 Collecting or observing is not done with an empty head. 4 The stages may seem to be timeless: each of them is situated in time as well as space. These four stages will be discussed in order in part I of this book, introducing further distinctions along the way.
A British mail order catalogue of 1896 offered for sale a list of so-called Ethnological Specimens. Human skeletons and skulls, especially those of non-western peoples, were treated as specimens and removed from graves without permission. The Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin still houses over 6,000 skulls, collected in the later nineteenth century in the heyday of ‘craniology’ (below, pp. 39 In the sixteenth century, individuals from the Tupinambá people had been taken from Brazil to France, to be displayed as curiosities or trophies rather than to gain knowledge (though Montaigne took the opportunity to question them through an interpreter).
A Social History of Knowledge, Volume 2: From the Encyclopaedia to Wikipedia by Peter Burke