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Title: Sentimental industry : the Society of Arts and the encouragement of public useful knowledge, 1754-1848
Author: Paskins, M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5358 6367
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis offers a reinterpretation of the activities of the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, an economic society founded in London in 1754. Previous histories of the Society have attempted to accommodate it within normative accounts of industrial development; or have celebrated its philanthropic intentions; or have focused on one aspect of its multifarious activities. I argue that the Society should be interpreted as a place where a wide-ranging public ethos and the promotion of public knowledge were meant to coexist. This meant a collision between an ethos of gentlemanly many-mindedness and the particular interests of individual trades, fraught negotiations about the question of the public, and involvement in practices of natural knowledge which were intended to render tacit knowledge explicit. How far any of this activity actually encouraged manufactures or commerce is debatable: nevertheless, the Society offers a vantage point from which we can see the difficulty of coordinating and aggregating local exemplary achievements and inventions. Individual chapters consider the Society's efforts in the fields of mechanics, import substitution, agriculture, and tree planting.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available