Knowledge: Its Creation, Distribution and Economic Significance, Volume II

Knowledge: Its Creation, Distribution and Economic Significance, Volume II: The Branches of Learning

Fritz Machlup
Copyright Date: 1982
Pages: 224
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    Knowledge: Its Creation, Distribution and Economic Significance, Volume II
    Book Description:

    Volume II of this ten-volume work, examines the parts of intellectual knowledge that have been considered worth teaching in institutions of higher learning. To judge what to teach, it was necessary to classify.

    Originally published in 1982.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5601-5
    Subjects: Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    (pp. vii-x)
    (pp. xi-2)
  5. CHAPTER 1 Introduction
    (pp. 3-14)

    In the introduction to Volume I of this work I called it an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary undertaking. I did not specify all the disciplines that would be called upon in carrying out the project. After a good deal of further reading and thinking about the unity and division of the sciences, I feel better prepared to indicate which of the established disciplines will be involved in the work according to my present plans.

    That economics is one of the relevant disciplines is clear; indeed, “economic significance” is part of the title of the series of volumes. I shall, however, defer...

  6. Part One: The Branches of Learning
    • CHAPTER 2 The Taxonomy of the Branches of Learning
      (pp. 17-21)

      Because many educators and philosophers are concerned exclusively with intellectual knowledge, they often disregard all other types of knowledge, which to most people—the common man or woman, the practical people, the masses—bulk much larger. With the focus on higher learning, the philosophers who set out to classifyknowledgehave come up with arrangements of the branches of learning, or intellectual knowledge. Some of these taxonomists were quite deliberate in so limiting their universe of discourse. This is surely true of Francis Bacon, who propagated the metaphor of the treeof knowledgein his book OntheAdvancementof...

    • CHAPTER 3 Classical and Medieval Synopses of Doctrines
      (pp. 22-33)

      Beginning with Aristotle and ending with the Arab historian Ibn Khaldûn, the first period surveyed spans approximately 1,750 years. Only two of the authors selected belong to antiquity, the other six belong to the Middle Ages. Four of these were alive in 1250.

      I shall confine myself to the briefest descriptions of the sorting schemes they proposed or suggested.

      Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) made all sorts of distinctions relevant to scientific knowledge in general or to individual sciences in particular, and many of these distinctions have proved influential over more than 2,000 years, some continuing still to be influential in our...

    • CHAPTER 4 The Tree of Knowledge
      (pp. 34-46)

      Most people know of the tree of knowledge from the first book of the Old Testament. But that was a different tree and a different knowledge, not what Francis Bacon (1561-1626) meant to suggest when he wrote about the tree of knowledge; nor what either Porphyry or Llull meant.¹ Porphyry, in the third century, had used the metaphor of the tree for his scheme of classifying concepts into bifurcating branches; and Llull, in the thirteenth century, had used the same device when he proposed no fewer than sixteen trees for classifying various systems of thought; but it was Francis Bacon...

    • CHAPTER 5 The Circle of Learning
      (pp. 47-59)

      Much misinformation about the history of encyclopaedias can be obtained from the literature on the subject. Some authors report the existence of encyclopaedias in ancient Greece; others suggest that the first encyclopaedia was produced in 1694, only a little more than half a century before the first volume of the great FrenchEncyclopédiewas published.¹ The first of these errors is probably due to a linguistic confusion: the ancient Greeks indeed used the word “encyclopaedia”; their reference, however, was not to any written works but rather to the curriculum for general education of the young. The second error is simply...

    • CHAPTER 6 The Mapping of the Sciences
      (pp. 60-78)

      Stepping out from the enchanted circle of learning, after our somewhat disenchanting exploration of its central and some of its peripheral curios, we proceed to a survey of the pertinent literature of the nineteenth century. The works of eight philosophers of science, engaged in mapping the sciences in what they thought to be the best of all possible orders, will be reviewed. A few words, however, should first be said about a philosopher who, although he offered no enumerative or taxonomic system, must not be entirely left out of this survey: I refer to Kant.

      Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) has had...

    • CHAPTER 7 Unified Science and the Propaedia
      (pp. 79-86)

      Only two twentieth-century efforts to renovate the classification of learning will be examined here. Both were of encyclopaedic character. The first originated from a movement, led by a group of eminent philosophers, to integrate all areas of learning into an all-embracing unified science. The second was a new conception of the circle of learning, designed to form the foundation of the fifteenth edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

      In 1935 a project for an encyclopaedia was launched that had at least two things in common with Leibniz’s projects: first, that it was to be founded on the notion of what Leibniz...

  7. Part Two: The Departments of Erudition
    • CHAPTER 8 Academies of Sciences: Classes and Sections
      (pp. 89-109)

      It is not surprising that the divisions, classes, or sections in which the academies of sciences in various countries are organized reflect the major classes and subclasses, orders and suborders, in which philosophers and encyclopaedists had divided the universe of learning, for, in many instances, the same philosophers and encyclopaedists, influential classifiers or sciences, were the promoters, organizers, or reorganizers of the academies. Once in place, the organization schemes of the academies have not changed quite so speedily as the classification systems of the dominant schools of philosophy of science: numerous proposals for reclassification were skipped by the academicians. On...

    • CHAPTER 9 Libraries: Classification Systems
      (pp. 110-119)

      Classifying men and women by the branches of learning in which they have specialized is in several respects different from classifying books and articles by the subject matter with which they deal. One difference lies in the fact that persons may themselves select the group to which they “belong,” whereas publications have to be grouped by others judging their contents (often only by their titles). These two kinds of classifications may serve quite different purposes: the sections to which members of an academy belong help the staff decide who should be invited to which conferences or committee meetings; the classes...

    • CHAPTER 10 Universities: Faculties and Departments
      (pp. 120-172)

      The theme “universities and the classification of higher learning” occurs at least three times in this work. In Volume I, the discussion of the types of knowledge invited an examination of the traditional division of learning into the sciences of nature, society, and human culture (Chapter 2). In Volume V, the discussion of higher education in the United States will have to include a more detailed report on the departmentalization of university teaching and university organization. Between these two occurrences of the theme is the present chapter, which may be regarded as a part of the intellectual history of organized...

  8. INDEX
    (pp. 173-206)
  9. Back Matter
    (pp. 207-207)