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Privileged Knowledge. Inventions and the legitimization of knowledge in the early Dutch Republic (ca. 1581-1621)

Dates:
  • Mon 16 Dec 2013 10.00 - 12.00
  Add to Calendar 2013-12-16 10:00 2013-12-16 12:00 Europe/Paris Privileged Knowledge. Inventions and the legitimization of knowledge in the early Dutch Republic (ca. 1581-1621)

This thesis examines the history of patent law in relation to the development of early modern science. Focusing on the Dutch Republic between 1581-1621, it reconstructs the legal backgrounds to the patents system, the social construction of patent procedures, and the ways in which new procedures were being tested. I argue that the institution of a patent system was an integral part of early modern state-formation, and that it provided a distinct ‘working model’ for how to arrive at truth claims through the use of experimental method.
The thesis is divided in two parts. In the first part, I deconstruct the unstable notions of privilege and invention, while discussing some of the political and economic characteristics of the privilege system particular to the Dutch Republic. Important research questions in the first part of the thesis are related to the role of the merchants; the notion of competition; Dutch mercantile politics; and the relation between States-General and provincial states. In the second part of the thesis, I argue that privilege practices created a space where craftsmen and intellectuals could interact and become acquainted with each other’s methods. I deal with the social composition of the actors involved in the privileges business and enter into the legal theory relating to inventor privileges. On the basis of a number of case studies, I argue that the legal obligations within the privilege regime provided the different actors with a model on how to execute experiments. Thus, the privilege system – in essence a legal tool with an economic purpose – played a crucial role in the development of a modern attitude towards the verification of knowledge.

Cappella, Villa Schifanoia - SCHIFANOIA DD/MM/YYYY
  Cappella, Villa Schifanoia - SCHIFANOIA

This thesis examines the history of patent law in relation to the development of early modern science. Focusing on the Dutch Republic between 1581-1621, it reconstructs the legal backgrounds to the patents system, the social construction of patent procedures, and the ways in which new procedures were being tested. I argue that the institution of a patent system was an integral part of early modern state-formation, and that it provided a distinct ‘working model’ for how to arrive at truth claims through the use of experimental method.
The thesis is divided in two parts. In the first part, I deconstruct the unstable notions of privilege and invention, while discussing some of the political and economic characteristics of the privilege system particular to the Dutch Republic. Important research questions in the first part of the thesis are related to the role of the merchants; the notion of competition; Dutch mercantile politics; and the relation between States-General and provincial states. In the second part of the thesis, I argue that privilege practices created a space where craftsmen and intellectuals could interact and become acquainted with each other’s methods. I deal with the social composition of the actors involved in the privileges business and enter into the legal theory relating to inventor privileges. On the basis of a number of case studies, I argue that the legal obligations within the privilege regime provided the different actors with a model on how to execute experiments. Thus, the privilege system – in essence a legal tool with an economic purpose – played a crucial role in the development of a modern attitude towards the verification of knowledge.


Location:
Cappella, Villa Schifanoia - SCHIFANOIA

Affiliation:
Department of History and Civilization

Type:
Thesis defence

Supervisor:
Martin van Gelderen (EUI - Department of History and Civilization)

Examiner:
Antonella Romano (EHESS, Paris)
Mario Biagioli (University of California, Davis)
Karel Davids (VU University Amsterdam)

Contact:
Roberta Saccon - Send a mail

Defendant:
Marius Buning (EUI - Department of History and Civilization)
 

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