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The Knowledge Society

The Knowledge Society
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Author(s): Luppicini Rocci (University of Ottawa, Canada)
Copyright: 2010
Pages: 23
Source title: Technoethics and the Evolving Knowledge Society: Ethical Issues in Technological Design, Research, Development, and Innovation
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Rocci Luppicini (University of Ottawa, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-952-6.ch001

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Abstract

Generally speaking, all societies in history were knowledge societies. However, the modern, conceptualization of the ” knowledge society’ can be traced to John Stuart Mill’s (1831) The Spirit of the Age where social progress was explained through the diffusion of knowledge (intellectual wisdom) and increased opportunities for individual choice arising from industrialization. This was an early indicator foreshadowing the transformation of modern society into a knowledge society. Beginning in the early 20th century, industrialized nations became increasingly reliant on economic investment in the production and distribution of knowledge in training, education, work, research and development (Abramovitz & David, 2000). Also, the importance of knowledge in society became even more pronounced through the advent of specialized areas of science and technology in society. As stated by Stehr (2002), “Contemporary society may be described as a knowledge society based on the extensive penetration of all its spheres of life and institutions by scientific and technological knowledge.”

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