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Promiscuous KnowledgeInformation, Image, and Other Truth Games in History$
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Kenneth Cmiel and John Durham Peters

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226611853

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226670669.001.0001

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Victorian Culture and the Diffusion of Learning

Victorian Culture and the Diffusion of Learning

(p.54) 2 Victorian Culture and the Diffusion of Learning
Promiscuous Knowledge

Kenneth Cmiel

John Durham Peters

University of Chicago Press

Chapter 2 explores how, through much of the nineteenth century, it was commonly thought that producing more and more facts advanced the democratic project. Information was supposed to kindle knowledge at the most basic popular level, where its spread would contribute to political progress and human liberation. The chapter examines the rise of print media in the US, with discussions of Horace Greeley, Baedeker guides, Victorian scientific and philosophical thought, photography, the organization of knowledge in museums and schools, and how various figures perceived the proliferation of knowledge and the dissemination of facts, and whether they could contribute to the spread of democracy.

Keywords:   nineteenth century, democracy, progress, print media, Greeley, Baedeker, Victorian science and philosophy, rise of photography, museums and schools, dissemination of facts

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