From Lived Experience to the Written Word: Reconstructing Practical Knowledge in the Early Modern World

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Product Details
University of Chicago Press
Publish Date
8.6 X 9.4 X 1.0 inches | 2.7 pounds

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About the Author
Pamela H. Smith is the Seth Low Professor of History at Columbia University and founding director of the Center for Science and Society and of its cluster project, the Making and Knowing Project. She is the author of The Business of Alchemy and The Body of the Artisan, the latter also published by the University of Chicago Press. She is the co-editor of Ways of Making and Knowing and The Matter of Art and editor of Entangled Itineraries.
"This is a brilliant, groundbreaking, and timely book. Through a particularly novel and exciting approach, Smith offers the first book-length study on the way early modern practitioners wrote about their skills. It is a must read for the growing community of scholars interested in material culture and in the ways how bodies, minds, things, and materials interact with each other."--Christine Göttler, author of Last Things
"This book is a cogently original account of skilled practice, its expression in writing, and its significance for the culture of knowledge as the new sciences developed in early modern Europe. With roots in the world-renowned Making and Knowing Project, it offers an important addition to the histories of skilled craft practice, of science and technology, and of the premodern and early modern periods."--Pamela O. Long, author of Engineering the Eternal City
"Smith's study encompasses the period from 1400 to 1800, when practitioners increasingly sought to put their trades in words, composing and publishing craft manuals, guides, treatises, recipe books, tip sheets and diagrams... These texts, she argues, enrich our understanding of the theoretical world of European makers, the development of technical writing and, by extension, the birth of modern science."-- "London Review of Books"