Article ID: CBB103245872

The History of Science and the History of Bureaucratic Knowledge: Saxon Mining, Circa 1770 (2018)


This article looks into mining in central Germany in the late eighteenth century as one area of highly charged exchange between (specific manifestations of early modern) science and the (early modern) state. It describes bureaucratic knowledge as socially distributed cognition by following the steps of a high-ranking official that led him to discover a rich silver ore deposit. Although this involved hybridization of practical/artisanal and theoretical/scientific knowledge, and knowers, the focus of this article is on purification or boundary work that took place when actors in and around the mines consciously contributed to different circuits of knowledge production. For the sake of analysis, the article suggests a way of opposing bureaucratic versus scientific knowledge production, even when the sites, actors involved in, and practices of that knowledge production were the same or similar. Whereas the science of the time invoked consensus among equals to conflate competing knowledge claims, bureaucracies did so by applying a hierarchy among ranked individuals.

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Authors & Contributors
Dym, Warren Alexander
Klein, Ursula
Felten, Sebastian
Forberger, Rudolf
Laboulais, Isabelle
Wakefield, André
Der Anschnitt: Zeitschrift für Kunst und Kultur im Bergbau
Minerva: A Review of Science, Learning and Policy
NTM: Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften, Technik und Medizin
French Historical Studies
Journal for the History of Knowledge
Historia Mathematica
Franz Steiner Verlag
University of Chicago Press
University of California, Davis
Yale University
Wallstein Verlag
Mines and mining
Science and government
Earth sciences
Science and politics
Societies; institutions; academies
Winterschmidt, Georg
Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm von
Swift, Jonathan
Weisbach, Julius
Zumbe, Carl
Time Periods
18th century
19th century
17th century
15th century
16th century
20th century
Paris (France)
Deutsche Akademie der Wissenschaften, Berlin

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