The Ageing of Information
Paul Duguid, "The Ageing of Information." Journal of the History of Ideas. 76(3): 347-368
In 1778, Vicesimus Knox declared his time the “Age of Information,” suggesting, in a fashion recognizable today, that the period had severed connections with prior ages. This paper examines Knox’s claim by exploring changes in conceptions of information across the eighteenth century. It notes in particular shifts in the concept’s personal and political implications, reflected in the different ways information is used from Locke at the beginning of the century to Godwin at the end, and manifest to some degree in Knox’s own political radicalisation.