The Gifts of Athena: Historical Origins of the Knowledge Economy

The Gifts of Athena: Historical Origins of the Knowledge Economy
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jenkins.double-eye.com/el-lobo-demonio-del-pramo-vud-religin.php This is one that will stand the test of time. The book is impressively wide ranging in its scope, containing a vast array of information and ideas I would hesitate to say the Mokyr has solved the problems of why the industrial revolution happened, but he would appear to have advanced the story a long way. This book is a fascinating integration of intellectual and economic history"--Roger E.

Backhouse, American Historical Review "Joel Mokyr, as one of the most important economic historians of our time, has written an instructive book about the knowledge-based origins of the rise and the future persistence of the Western World This book should be read not only by scholars, but also by politicians! Help Centre. My Wishlist Sign In Join.

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The Enlightenment movement of the eighteenth century was of course a multifaceted and complex phenomenon, aimed at least as much at changing the existing political power structure and the distribution of income it implied as at increasing wealth by making production more rational. The notion I am proposing is more narrow and more focused.

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It concerns only that part of rationality that involves observing, understanding, and manipulating natural forces. With concept in hand, Mokyr is able to show how the social environment of Europe variously interacted with method, mentality, and culture.

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Mokyr and Macfarlane: Eight hours of dialogue can be found here. This book is a fascinating integration of intellectual and economic history"--Roger E. Book Depository hard to find London, Reino Unido. Can I borrow this item? Engineers, mechanics, chemists, physicians, and natural philosophers formed circles in which access to knowledge was the primary objective. It merits a wide readership. Napoleons conquest absorbed Holland into the Continental model.

For Great Britain, repository of wave after wave of religious refugees, very often bringing with them extraordinary artisanal skills, the blending of practical arts and commercial freedom meant that new ideas with economic value were always in demand. Sir Francis Bacon, writing early in the 17th century, had provided a vision of nature revealing its secrets, under duress, for the benefit of mankind. The Industrial Enlightenment learned from the natural philosophers — especially from Newton, who stated it explicitly in the famous opening pages of Book Three of the Principia — that the phenomena produced by nature and the artificial works of mankind were subject to the same laws.

That view squarely contradicted orthodox Aristotelianism. The Industrial Enlightenment placed a great deal of trust in the idea of experimentation, a concept inherited directly from seventeenth century science. Experimental philosophy became the rhetorical tool that connected the scientific revolution of the seventeenth-century to the industrial transformations of the eighteenth.

Mokyr relates the fascinating tale, during the 18th century, of the widening acceptance at all levels of society of the importance of useful knowledge. Public demonstration of the principles of science whether through elaborate mechanical creations, or the whiz-bangs of the early chemists, or the bell jars and air pumps of the disciples of Boyle were open to a fee-paying public at modest cost, brought out from the cabinets and meeting rooms of the Royal Society. Unsurprisingly, it was the Dutch who were the bring much British discovery to wider Continental consciousness.

The path of European innovation, especially before , is therefore a tale of extraordinary individuals in situations of greater or lesser social constraint. The place where that constraint was least felt was England, north to lowland Scotland. Many individuals made contributions. Knowledge, people, and equipment moved back and forth across the Channel. But up until , the British seemed to have the best of the exchange. It was a change in attitudes toward omega propositional knowledge and a change in access to lambda prescriptive knowledge , on the part of artisans, businesspeople, politicians, and the general populace that was to have a lasting effect on science, technology, and English culture.

The idea, widely held by most literate people of the time, that natural phenomena were orderly, rational, predictable , must surely indicate a historically unique shift in political and intellectual awareness. After and through the 19th century, we come to a Second Industrial Revolution and it is here that the initiative and momentum turn away from the British Isles.

By the early s, chemistry in particular had moved forward enough that the theoreticians were making increasing contributions to industrial process. While mechanics continued to evolve, it was metallurgy and industrial activity in dye-making and food processing that were to usher in a new era. The Europeans first Revolutionary France, then Napoleonic France and its wide European holdings responded first to the British challenge by creating a series of engineering schools specifically for the training of military engineers and then to the widening base of propositional knowledge by adding institutes for chemistry, physics, agriculture, etc.

The funding and organization of these establishments were an open admission that national economic and military performance were dependent on the new science and technology. It took most of the first half of the 19th century for these continental schools to make enough progress that their theoreticians were contributing to industrial change. During that period, wholesale importation of British equipment especially steam engines and British engineers and artisans was underway.

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During the Crystal Palace exhibition, it was Manchester, Glasgow, and Birmingham that were major contributors to the industrial displays … the British colonies were all but absent. And it was the Continentals and America that were to provide the novelty and potential competition for domestic industry. Within another 40 years, the Japanese were to join the club of nations that had found a way to explicitly link their scientific thinkers with their industrial doers. It is perhaps part of the lucky history of the Anglosphere that the torch which passed out of the hands of Great Britain in the latter part of the 19th century came to rest, at least partially, in the hands of the English-speaking Americans, who were to act as counterbalance to the state-sponsored industrial machines of the Germans, French, and Japanese, and ultimately the Russians.

Innovation and economic expansion can strike twice in the same place if social circumstances permit. As mentioned, I found him particularly strong, and apparently even-handed, in his discussion of early and current scholars of the period so I would strongly recommend Gifts of Athena for readers looking to brief themselves on the history of the Industrial Revolution from a social and economic standpoint.

Mokyr does his best to take advantage of evolutionary theory i. Gifts of Athena is well-written, if occasionally off on an academic tangent, but it repays the reader handsomely with an overview of events that seem even more amazing on reflection than they must have been for the participants. At the same time, however, measuring these changes is highly subjective and it is hard to find something uniquely European let alone British about such attitudes, and the exact nature of what set the process [the Industrial Enlightenment] in motion will remain a topic of debate for many generations.

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Review of Gifts of Athena by an Economic Historian. This entry was posted on Friday, November 17th, at pm and is filed under Anglosphere , Book Notes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2. Both comments and pings are currently closed. Sounds like a worthwhile book. Water-powered blast furnaces, for example, were in use by Dams erected by joint-stock companies, and serving multiple milling operations, were operating in Toulouse about the same period.

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Its result is now often called the knowledge economy. But what are the historical origins of this revolution and what have been its mechanisms? In The Gifts of. The growth of technological and scientific knowledge in the past two centuries has been the overriding dynamic element in the economic and social history of.

I suppose that must be the case. So, yet another vast swathe of the modern world arising from a voluntary aggregation of persons in England, who no doubt had clubs and societies organized with trustees, giving rise like acorns to mighty oaks.

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Wherever we turn, we see this sort of thing. As Prof. Veliz said, we live in a world made in England. It is true that over the long term, when resources are plentiful, spontaneous action is superior. Sponteneity requires time to achieve results. Directed research can really get faster results for a defined objective that needs to be reached in a definite period of time. The Manhattan Project is another. However, I do agree with you that the English system produces better results when given enough resources and left to its own devices over time.

We are going to see that hypothesis come closer to being proven as the EU research establishments ossify futher under increasing regulation and decresing ties with entrepreneurial industry. John, what I need to do is resd this here book by Mokyr. My knowledge of this area is spotty. No dispute that science in the early stages existed all over Europe. Questions which arise then are: 1 how critical was science per se to economic advance, at least in the early stages, and 2 if the French, Dutch, Germans in various German states all had pretty good scientists, why did the Industrial Revolution start in England, not elsewhere?

I think that the beginning of the science was actually a Anglo-Dutch enterprise.

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During the time when science evolved, England and Holland were joined at the hip politically, economically and culturally. Even when they fought. What the two societies possessed in common was a high degree of ordered-disorder. Organization arose largely from the bottom up in an evolutionary organic manner.

Their societies and cultures possessed no critical nodes, the disruption of which could create chaos. As a result, both societies functioned well even during times of invasion or civil war. They automatically maintained a high level of functional order while at the same so distributing decision making across so many different individuals and institutions that no central authority controlled everything.

In the rest of Europe, the opposite pattern arose. The idea of what would become to be called science took hold and flourished even against strong opposition from many elites in the Anglo-Dutch realm because those elites simply could not muster the power necessary to kill them off. Once the Anglo-Dutch proved the worth of science, however, continental Europe was able to in effect mass-produce large cadres of scientific and technical minds.

England could never escape cozy, small scale organic system that served the so well for so long. So, even though it unquestionable began the industrial revolution, England never really got the hang of mass-producing anything. Napoleons conquest absorbed Holland into the Continental model.

The classic example being the very early widespread adoption of ideographic writing by the Chinese in ancient times. The system became so widespread and so much information was stored in it that it became virtually impossible for the Chinese to switch to a more advanced phonetic system latter. The Anglo-Dutch created virtually all the first generation institutions that run the modern world.

That creation made them rich and powerful for a time but that very success slowed their adoption of even newer institutions.