The fruits of knowledge - such as books, data, and ideas - tend to generate far more attention than the ways in which knowledge is produced and acquired. Correcting this imbalance, "Making Knowledge in Early Modern Europe" brings together a wide-ranging yet tightly integrated series of essays that explore how knowledge was obtained and demonstrated in Europe during an intellectually explosive four centuries, when standard methods of inquiry took shape across several fields of intellectual pursuit. Composed by scholars in disciplines ranging from the history of science to art history to religious studies, the pieces collected here look at the production and consumption of knowledge as a social process within many different communities. They focus, in particular, on how the methods employed by scientists and intellectuals came to interact with the practices of craftspeople and practitioners to create new ways of knowing. Examining the role of texts, reading habits, painting methods, and countless other forms of knowledge making, this volume brilliantly illuminates the myriad ways these processes affected and were affected by the period's monumental shifts in culture and learning.
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.