Globalization: People, Perspectives, and Progress

By William H. Mott IV | Go to book overview

2
KNOWLEDGE AND
KNOWLEDGE CREATION

Knowledge "represents the capacities or capabilities of an individual or social group. These capacities are multifaceted and span the cognitive or holistic processes associated with meaning and understanding, as well as the abilities to organize, interpret, and assess information."1 Through the broad lens of historicism, knowledge, its creation, its expansion and diffusion, and its accumulation appear within the global perspective as the primary dynamics of globalization. Transcending all of the narrow perspectives, knowledge creation focuses progress, animates transformation, relieves social stress, and forms the stimulus for action. As globalization and revolutions were transforming the Enlightenment into modernity, Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot may have glimpsed the timeless, distinctively human process of creating knowledge:

To discover and verify the truth, it is no longer a question of establishing a
small number of simple principles and then merely allowing the mind to be
borne along by the current of their consequences. … Ideas emerge and are
assembled in our minds almost without our knowing it. … Little by little
we learn to distinguish between them, less by reference to what they are in
themselves than by reference to their relation to our habits and needs. …
This chaotic blend of ideas and expressions grows and becomes more complex
all the time; and when man starts to seek for truth, he finds himself in the
midst of a labyrinth which he has entered blindfold.2

"Revolutions in science often give rise to revolutions in thought, after which the earlier understanding comes to seem naive and the new conception intuitively obvious."3 During the Enlightenment, when revolutions were rapidly changing science and philosophy, the knowledge base was neither well expressed nor widely diffused. Because the interactions between science, philosophy, and knowledge were inherently incomplete and idiosyncratic for different individuals in different societies, people created knowledge in the uncertainty and unpredictable chaos of TurgotU+027s labyrinth. Knowledge itself

-13-

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Globalization: People, Perspectives, and Progress
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • 1: Knowledge, Perspectives, and People 1
  • 2: Knowledge and Knowledge Creation 13
  • 3: The Power Ofperspective 33
  • 4: The Idea of Progress 81
  • 5: The Political Perspective 113
  • 6: Cultural Globalization 173
  • 7: The Economic Perspective 219
  • 8: The Double Movement 253
  • 9: The Global Perspective 303
  • Selected Bibliography 339
  • Author Index 371
  • Subject Index 379
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