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Cook, Harold J.

Cook, Harold J.

Descartes Theme-Group Fellow

Borders and the Transfer of Knowledge

Research Question

What are the differences between commensurability and translation, using examples from the medical world and Dutch commerce in the 17th century?

Project Description

Transfer is a cornerstone of the knowledge society: the exchange of learning, news, expertise, innovations has become a key to progress and reputation. Transfer crosses borders between places and cultures and at the same time creates borders between those in the know and those excluded. Borders in the early modern period were not the national, economic, and societal of today. The members of this working group investigate various instances of the dynamics of knowledge transfer and the interactions between different societal and cultural domains. They are particularly interested in the rules and regulations that emerged in the interactions between actors and institutions to facilitate transfers and demarcate membership.

Selected Publications

Matters of Exchange: Commerce, Medicine, and Science in the Dutch Golden Age (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007; paperback, 2008)

Trials of an Ordinary Doctor: Joannes Groenevelt in Seventeenth-Century London (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994)

The Decline of the Old Medical Regime in Stuart London (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1986)

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