“Pamela Smith and Benjamin Schmidt have gathered together a wide-ranging and provocative set of original essays that successfully demonstrate how contingent the process of making knowledge was during a period of fundamental epistemological change. This is a finely crafted and conceptualized collection.”
(Deborah Harkness, University of Southern California)
“The major transformations of knowledge and social order in early modern Europe have long posed exciting and challenging problems for historians. This carefully organized new collection addresses these problems by focusing on the ways in which knowledge was then produced and how the status of knowledge was thus changed. Contributors show impressively how a much broader range of kinds of knowledge must be studied, juxtaposing the ways of knowing of painters and travelers, of chemists and midwives. They also show how a decisive aspect of knowledge making depended on innovativeand intense relations between scholars and artisans: traditions of recipe-making and of artful design were essential to the most important developments in ways of knowing.”
(Simon Schaffer, University of Cambridge)
"This text is recommended for both specialists and non-specialists alike because of both the breadth of the contributions and the key lesson that it teaches: namely, that knowledge can be the result of a bewildering and surprising variety of processes. . . . In general, all the contributions make for stimulating reading and serve as useful introductions to current debates and problems."
(Michael J. Sauter H-Net Review
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About the Author
Pamela H. Smith is professor of history at Columbia University and the author of two books, including The Body of the Artisan, also published by the University of Chicago Press. Benjamin Schmidt is associate professor of history at the University of Washington and the author of Innocence Abroad.