This concluding chapter explains that by focusing on the artiste, the study has uncovered the heterogeneous interests that gravitated around the mechanical arts in the years between the foundation of the Académie des Sciences and the publication of the first volumes of the Encyclopédie. It discusses the mechanical arts as a domain of practical knowledge that the French state regarded as strategic to its commercial and colonial expansion. Practitioners of the mechanical arts who regarded themselves as artistes were eager to inform the decision-making processes of the state in these matters. By bringing artistes to center age, the chapter's broader intention is to highlight the practical, material, discursive, and artifactual contexts within which the categories of improvement, useful knowledge, and progress emerged.
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