A History of the Modern Fact: Problems of Knowledge in the Sciences of Wealth and Society by Mary Poovey
English | ISBN: 0226675262 | edition 1998 | PDF | 436 pages | 24 mb
How did the fact become modernity's most favored unit of knowledge? How did description come to seem separable from theory in the precursors of economics and the social sciences? Mary Poovey explores these questions in A History of the Modern Fact, ranging across an astonishing array of texts and ideas from the publication of the first British manual on double-entry bookkeeping in 1588 to the institutionalization of statistics in the 1830s. She shows how the production of systematicknowledge from descriptions of observed particulars influenced government, how numerical representation became the privileged vehicle for generating useful facts, and how belief—whether figured as credit, credibility, or credulity—remained essential to the production ofknowledge.