The Roots of Progress

Scientific Culture and the Making of the Industrial West

Margaret C. Jacob

An history of the intellectual culture in Europe around the 17th to 18th centuries, and how that culture set the stage for the Industrial Revolution. An excellent companion to Joel Mokyr’s books. E.g.: “Purely economic models traditionally assume that if people have coal, capital, and cheap labor they will see it as being in their best interests to industrialize. If they need any specialized scientific or technical knowledge to do that, they will just go out and get it. … What is missing in the story of early industrialization to date is any convincing cultural paradigm—a set of recognizable values, experiences, and knowledge patterns possessed among key social actors—that offers insight into the formation of the industrial mentality of the late eighteenth century.”

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