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Introduction – London 1600-1800: Communities of Natural Knowledge and Artificial Practice

Bennett, Jim, Higgitt, Rebekah F. (2019) Introduction – London 1600-1800: Communities of Natural Knowledge and Artificial Practice. British Journal for the History of Science, 52 (S2). pp. 183-196. ISSN 0007-0874. (doi:10.1017/S0007087419000189) (KAR id:73699)


This essay introduces a special issue of the BJHS on communities of natural knowledge and artificial practice in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century London. In seeking to understand

the rise of a learned and technical culture within a growing and changing city, our approach has been inclusive in terms of the activities, people and places we consider worth exploring

but shaped by a sense of the importance of collective activity, training, storage of information and identity. London’s knowledge culture was formed by the public, pragmatic and

commercial spaces of the city rather than by the academy or the court. In this introduction, we outline the types of group and institution within our view and acknowledge the many

locations that might be explored further. Above all, we introduce a particular vision of London’s potential as a city of knowledge and practice, arising from its commercial and

mercantile activity and fostered within its range of corporations, institutions and associations. This was recognised and promoted by contemporary authors, including natural and

experimental philosophers, practical mathematicians, artisans and others, who sought to establish a place for and recognition of their individual and collective skills and knowledge

within the metropolis.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1017/S0007087419000189
Subjects: D History General and Old World
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: Rebekah Higgitt
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2019 14:07 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 15:48 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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