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The economics of knowledge reproduction by inscription

  • Dominique Foray
  • W. Edward Steinmueller

The focus of this paper is on how humans reproduce their knowledge and understanding, their know-what and their know-how, in forms outside of themselves through inscription. The paper develops the analysis of inscription technologies in two phases. The first involves an examination of specific technologies and their relation to the cultivation of individual and group skills as well as organizational routines. The second phase takes up the question of how the representation of knowledge influences the potentials for inscription. The essence of the argument is that new opportunities are emerging for scripting reproduction of human expression and works, with the potential for transforming the rate and direction of both variety production and selection. The 'inherent' capabilities of these new scripting techniques are profound and they may serve to produce new expressions that differ as significantly from our current literate culture as our own culture differs from the oral culture of pre-literate societies. Copyright 2003, Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Industrial and Corporate Change.

Volume (Year): 12 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 299-319

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Handle: RePEc:oup:indcch:v:12:y:2003:i:2:p:299-319
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