Commodity, Category, Sign and Identity; Their Production as Myth and Knowledge from 1500
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This book first analyses the material and cultural character of the production and marketing of commodities and payment forms across the Euro-Asian Continuum - the ’second’ or ’unbroken’ landscape - taking up these categories of objects as things communicated and transmitted by producers and merchants. In this the book complements and continues the work collected in the author’s earlier volume. Given received conceptions of culture and society in the social sciences contradicting such an empirical approach, the author then addresses several central methodological and epistemological issues, notably that of empirical complexity. His concern is to establish the existence of a knowledge-world and a world of identities that transcends current emphases upon nation, language and nationalism, and to consider the methodological principles necessary for reconstructing it.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface and Acknowledgements; Second landscape; Commercial manufacture and the proto-industrialisation thesis; World economic integration before industrialisation and the Euro-Asian marketing and payments continuum - a reinterpretation of monetary order; The other ’species’ world: speciation of commodities and moneys, and the knowledge-base of commerce (1500-1900); Space and order looked at critically: non-comparability and procedural substantivism in history and the social sciences; The material and the cultural: an attempt to transcend the present impasse; Interpreted time and interpreter’s time: mechanicism, organicism and entropy; Languages of separation. An essauy on complicity; Indexes (including subject Index for both Unbroken Landscape and The Invisible City).
'...the book presents highly orginal and bold ideas that merit wide discussion....' Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 54, No. 4