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Chapter Summary

This front matter section of the book Collectors' Knowledge: What Is Kept, What Is Discarded contains the table of contents, a list of figures and tables, the preface and the acknowledgements. The book examines the establishment and change of paradigms in history, starting with Thomas Kuhn's theory of paradigm shift and research in the history of science, social and cultural history, such as the histories of patterns of thought that follow the theoretical approach of Michel Foucault. It focuses on institutional, political, biographical or other distinctions, and diversity, the individual reasons that particular collectors kept or discarded items. The book searches for irregularities in elaborately constructed series, and for explanations of their arrangement, and talks about a strong belief in the fundamental unity of the human quest for knowledge and a deep respect for the richness and the idiosyncrasies of human nature.

Keywords: classical texts; collectors' knowledge; cultural history; marvellous objects; Michel Foucault; paradigm shift; Thomas Kuhn



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