By Mary Poovey
Mary Poovey explores those questions in A background of the trendy Fact, ranging throughout an staggering array of texts and ideas from the ebook of the 1st British guide on double-entry bookkeeping in 1588 to the institutionalization of information within the 1830s. She exhibits how the construction of systematic wisdom from descriptions of saw details inspired executive, how numerical illustration turned the privileged car for producing worthy proof, and the way belief—whether figured as credits, credibility, or credulity—remained necessary to the creation of knowledge.
Illuminating the epistemological stipulations that experience made glossy social and financial wisdom attainable, A heritage of the trendy Fact presents vital contributions to the background of political notion, economics, technology, and philosophy, in addition to to literary and cultural criticism.
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Additional resources for A History of the Modern Fact: Problems of Knowledge in the Sciences of Wealth and Society
It h:\5 seemed useful at the outset to name some of the scholarly work that has contributed to A History ofthe Modern Fact, both because I want to make it clear I ha t this is largely a synthetic work of interdisciplinary (or transdisciplinary) I I istory, which could not have been written had more properly disciplinary his l or i es not already existed, and because I want to set an example for readers of I I I is boo k . Because it draws on and contributes to so many scholarly projects, it IS I l(;cessarily a prolegomenon for future research, and I invite my readers to 1 1 1 .
More specifically, the fields relevant to this book include the history of British political thought, Fou cauldian attempts to devise a history of governmentality, and intellectual histo ries of the Scottish Enlightenment. Among recent histories of political thought, I have found the work of Richard Tuck, Maurizio Viroli, Quentin Skinner, and Peter N. 8 Although I part company with orthodox Fo uc a ul d i an s in ways I describe b el ow r h a ve fou n d Foucault's theor y of gov >rr l l 1 l 'l l t ;) l i ty S P i a l l y h ' I I fu l for U 11 c\c rsl :l I I(l i l l g e igh l ecl l t h-cC l I l u ry I l rit i sh , ' ' T H E M O D E R N FACT 7 liberalism; in this regard, the essays collected in The Foucault Effect deserve spe cial attention, as does Mitchell Dean's The Constitution of Poverty: Toward a Genealogy if Liberal Governance.
Fo suggest how I propose we move beyond political correctness, let me describe t h e analytic method I use in the following chapters. This method superimposes l wo kinds of historical reading. The first will seem rather old-fashioned to post structuralists, for it focuses on the author's intentions and on the political, philo sophical, and semantic contexts in which the text was produced. 36 If this first reading tries to approach recovery, then the second reading mea �1I res subsequent (mis)readings against two fields of connotations: the one that kid d isappeared and the emergent field that was taking or had taken its prede cessor's place.