Book ID: CBB364604163

The Intellectual Properties of Learning: A Prehistory from Saint Jerome to John Locke (2018)


Willinsky, John (Author)

University of Chicago Press

Publication Date: 2018
Physical Details: 400
Language: English

Providing a sweeping millennium-plus history of the learned book in the West, John Willinsky puts current debates over intellectual property into context, asking what it is about learning that helped to create the concept even as it gave the products of knowledge a different legal and economic standing than other sorts of property.   Willinsky begins with Saint Jerome in the fifth century, then traces the evolution of reading, writing, and editing practices in monasteries, schools, universities, and among independent scholars through the medieval period and into the Renaissance. He delves into the influx of Islamic learning and the rediscovery of classical texts, the dissolution of the monasteries, and the founding of the Bodleian Library before finally arriving at John Locke, whose influential lobbying helped bring about the first copyright law, the Statute of Anne of 1710. Willinsky’s bravura tour through this history shows that learning gave rise to our idea of intellectual property while remaining distinct from, if not wholly uncompromised by, the commercial economy that this concept inspired, making it clear that today’s push for marketable intellectual property threatens the very nature of the quest for learning on which it rests.

Reviewed By

Review Richard Yeo (2019) Review of "The Intellectual Properties of Learning: A Prehistory from Saint Jerome to John Locke". Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences (pp. 381-382). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Mann, Annika
Joffe, Stephen N.
Huzair, Farah
Dietz, Feike
Adi Sapir
Somos, Mark
History of European Ideas
Technology and Culture
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Social Studies of Science
Science in Context
University of Virginia Press
University of Wisconsin Press
Princeton University Press
Oxford University Press
Intellectual property
Kim, Jin-Soo
Harvey, William
Vesalius, Andreas
Ross, Alexander
Needham, Joseph
Darwin, Charles Robert
Time Periods
Early modern
21st century
18th century
20th century, late
19th century
17th century
Great Britain
South Korea
United States
Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel

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