Ways of Making and Knowing: The Material Culture of Empirical Knowledge

Making and knowing have generally been viewed as belonging to different types and orders of knowledge. Craft and making have been associated with how-to information, oriented to a particular situation or product, often informal and tacit, while knowing has been related to theoretical, propositional, and abstract knowledge including natural science. Although craftspeople and artists have worked with natural materials and sometimes have been viewed as experts in the behaviour of matter, the notion that making art can constitute a means of knowing nature is a novel one. Ways of Making and Knowing explores the circumstances under which making constituted knowing, and, more specifically, it examines the relationship between making objects and knowing nature in Europe from about 1450 to 1850. With contributions from historians of science, medicine, art, and material culture, this volume shows that the histories of science and art are not simply histories of concepts or styles, or at least not that alone, but histories of the making and using of objects to understand the world.