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Artisanal EnlightenmentScience and the Mechanical Arts in Old Regime France$
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Paola Bertucci

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780300227413

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300227413.001.0001

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The Politics of Writing About Making

The Politics of Writing About Making

(p.145) Chapter 5 The Politics of Writing About Making
Artisanal Enlightenment

Paola Bertucci

Yale University Press

This chapter argues that writing about their own art was a political act through which artistes presented themselves and their work as central to France's projects of improvement. They did so by discussing the features that distinguished them from other artisans and by articulating a theory of cognition based on sensorial intelligence. Artistes reacted to the conception of a slowly moving artisanal world, countering that in artisanal workshops, opportunities for improvement occurred frequently though they often went unnoticed because of the artisans' ignorance and attachment to routine. Artistes, by contrast, were able to improvise and be in the moment when serendipitous opportunities presented themselves.

Keywords:   artistes, France, artisans, sensorial intelligence, artisanal world, theory of cognition

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