Classifying sciences: Systematics and status in mid-Victorian natural history

Endersby, Jim (2005) Classifying sciences: Systematics and status in mid-Victorian natural history. In: Daunton, Martin (ed.) The organisation of knowledge in Victorian Britain. British Academy centenary monographs . Oxford University Press, pp. 61-85. ISBN 9780197263266

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This collection of essays explores the questions of what counted as knowledge in Victorian Britain, who defined knowledge and the knowledgeable, by what means and by what criteria. During the Victorian period, the structure of knowledge took on a new and recognizably modern form, and the disciplines that we now take for granted took shape. The ways in which knowledge was tested also took on a new form, with oral examinations and personal contacts giving way to formal written tests. New institutions of knowledge were created: museums were important at the start of the period (knowledge often meant classifying and collecting); by the end, universities had taken on a new prominence. Knowledge exploded and Victorians needed to make sense of the sheer scale of information, to popularize it, and at the same time to exclude ignorance and error - a role carried out by encyclopaedias and popular publications. The concept of knowledge is complex and much debated, with a multiplicity of meanings and troubling relationships. By studying the Victorian organization of knowledge in its institutional, social, and intellectual settings, these essays contribute to our consideration of these wider issues.

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > History
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA History of Great Britain
Depositing User: Jim Endersby
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:26
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2012 15:18
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