History of Knowledge

Seminar Series @ Utrecht University : :











  


 Medieval pattern poems from Rabanus Maurus’s De laudibus sanctae   crusis (9th century)  












12 March: Lorraine Daston
’Knowledge Has Its Own Rules - And They Have a History’

‘The promising new field of the history of knowledge has been mostly defined by what it is not, namely the modern natural sciences. As a result, the history of knowledge threatens to become a miscellany, embracing practical know-how, the academic humanities disciplines, various ethno-studies (ethnobotany, ethnomusicology, etc.), and much, much else. The challenge is to give the history of knowledge its own shape and coherence, without losing the scope and openness to new topics that are its main attractions. One possibility might be to look at a form of rationality that is both ubiquitous but multifarious: attempts to order and codify ways of doing and knowing by rules, whether the subject matter is the weather, carpentry, or grammar. Because the modern natural sciences also formulate rules (e.g. natural laws), this approach might serve as a model for investigating knowledge and science together, rather than in opposition to one another.’


︎ This talk is co-sponsored
by the Descartes Centre and
the Evert Willem Beth Stichting