Lisovich I. I. Problems of Openness of Scientific Knowledge in Early Modern English Culture
The article was written within the framework of the project “Virtual Shakespearean Sphere: Transformations of Shakespearian Myth in Modern Culture” supported with a grant from the Russian Foundation for the Humanities (No. 14-03-00552а).
Abstract ♦ The early Modern period saw the rise of new scientific methods of inquiry and of the modern type of scientific institutions, accompanied by the shaping of the major strategies of the openness of scientific knowledge. This modus of openness is what makes the science in the Modern period drastically different from that of the previous epochs and civilizations, when only the chosen few had access to knowledge. Researchers still take a passionate interest in the question what encouraged scholars/scientists, their patrons and whole communities to open up the treasury of knowledge to everyone willing to enter. This issue has become the main subject of our analysis.
The process of constructing an open and public scientific space also featured the rise of various practices, phenomena and factors, such as discursive practices, open research communities and institutions, the “Republic of Letters”, political, social and economic factors and implications of openness of scientific research. In the 16th century, England joined the European scientific communication. Open scientific communication spaces in England were unique as they destroyed the boundaries between social strata and made the communities self-governing. Due to this openness, not only scientific practices influenced the English culture, but the cultural forms also fitted into discourses of science. Strategies of openness, developed during the Scientific Revolution, formed the foundation of modern knowledge and still preserve their topicality, since universal access to knowledge is still impeded by state, corporate and private interest due to various economic, social and political reasons. Closedness is an obstacle to the development of both science and global civilization in general.
Keywords: early modern period, England, open scientific knowledge, closed access scientific knowledge, communicative space.
Lisovich Inna Ivanovna, Candidate of Philology, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, Culturology and Politology, Moscow University for the Humanities. Postal address: 5 Yunosti St., Moscow, Russian Federation, 111395. Tel.: +7 (499) 374-55-11. E-mail:
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