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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory chapter of the book, which brings together a number of case studies about knowledge construction which depended on the Dutch trading networks. The knowledge that is at issue in this volume has in most cases a descriptive quality. Culturally and numerically the Dutch presence in Asia remained limited in most settlements, even in the Dutch East India Company (VOC)'s administrative and shipping centre Batavia. In 1652 the VOC had established a refreshment post for its ships at the Cape of Good Hope. Gordon 's scholarly career in South Africa displays the typical characteristics, which the historian of science Basalla ascribes to colonial scholars during the first phase of the practice of science in colonies. At the site of reception the knowledge acquired through the Dutch trade networks was entered into new cycles of knowledge production.

Keywords: Dutch East India Company (VOC); Dutch trading networks; South Africa



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