Last intro para. I like it.

It must be admitted that the present book is a hybrid, and perhaps an ungainly one. It is part intellectual history, part phenomenology, part philosophy of information, part (even) literary criticism. It is very likely that the resulting mash-up—as the kids were saying, recently, maybe—will tend to annoy people who are specialists in any of its elements. Even more likely, it will confuse people who are specialists in none of them. From both groups, I must ask forgiveness. Consider that hybridization, after all, has made all the running in the history of information technology. Who would have thought that cattle-ranching would have facilitated telephony, or that artillery fire would have produced IBM, or that your glasses would one day tell you the weather? More to the point, hybridization—synthesis—has at least since Kant made all the running in whatever it is we know about knowledge. In the end, the relationship between knowing and informing is what I want to talk about. I have trouble seeing, from my own confusion, where that talking stops.

Author: JD Fleming

I am Professor of English Literature at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, BC. My work is in intellectual history of the early-modern period (1500-1700), with a special interest in epistemic issues around the emergence of modern natural science (the "Scientific Revolution"). In 2012, I initiated the international conference series "Scientiae: Disciplines of Knowing in the Early Modern World."

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