Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy

Living Edition
| Editors: Marco Sgarbi

Epistemology, Artisanal

  • Pamela H. Smith
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02848-4_1182-1

Abstract

Craft is often viewed as “knowledge how” and science as “knowledge why,” but the term “artisanal epistemology” challenges this dichotomy to recognize that the ability of craftspeople to produce material things rests upon experientially derived bodies of knowledge that can be employed rigorously and methodically to extend, categorize, innovate, and accumulate new knowledge. This view, in emphasizing the bodily labor of the craftsperson as the source of knowledge about the world, constitutes a corrective to a long philosophical tradition that views “mind” and consciousness as the primary source of knowledge. The idea that artisans possess a mode of gaining and conceptualizing their knowledge that can be named an epistemology is a recent innovation of the historiography of early modern science; however, several different twentieth-century currents in history and the social sciences led up to the formulation of this term. “Artisanal epistemology” has been used by historians of science since the 2000s in studies that foreground the contribution of artisans and practitioners to the Scientific Revolution.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HistoryColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Marco Sgarbi
    • 1
  1. 1.University Ca' Foscari VeniceVeniceItaly