Printing and the Spread of Knowledge Research Paper by Nicky

A look at the link between printing and the modern mind.
# 151449 | 2,600 words | 13 sources | APA | 2012 | US
Published on Jun 11, 2012 in Anthropology (Europe) , History (European)

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This paper strives to establish a strong link between the history of printing and the modern mind. First, the paper explores the meaning of the term "modern mind." Then, it discusses how printing has been used as a tool used to enhance critical thinking and to raise the consciousness of the masses, while at the same time a tool for those in power. Next, the paper presents a brief history of the transimission of the written word, starting with monks who worked as scribes during the middle ages through the introduction of the printing press during the Industrial Revolution. Then the paper brings in contemporary history regarding the printed word, the mass media and the Internet. It also looks at how printed information influences political movements and thought, particularly in this age of technology. The paper concludes by stating that printing the written word has been the foundation for many great events and will likely be so for the foreseeable future.

From the Paper:

"Printing has been an extremely useful tool in enhancing critical thinking and raising consciousness of the masses, while at the same time a tool for those in power to seek to avert that very same critical thinking and conscious raising. This is as true today as it was before the day Guttenberg invented his press. The progression from hand copying by the monks to the modern world of printing hundreds of thousands of newspapers, magazine, brochures, books and advertisements has mirrored the capacity of mankind to engage in critical thinking and it could be said that an even split between the good and evil that has come from that thinking exists today. Examples of each abound throughout history. In the 17th century, Isaac Newton presented ideas to the public that were very sophisticated. He said that the universe was a lot like a machine that could be governed by laws. That era in time was at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution, so many of his ideas were already being put into play. His ideas caught hold "because everywhere machines were reordering economies, production processes and social relations" (Homer-Dixon, 2009, p.9). Those machines included printing presses that were able to spread the word on a daily basis..."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Ambinder, M. (2008) His space, Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 301, No. 5 pp. 63, 66 - 67
  • Brewer, C. (2008) Adherence to ethics key to restoring faith, The Quill (Chicago, Ill), Vol. 96, No. 3, p. 3
  • Bruhn, K. (2008) Sinne unfoulded: Time, election, and disbelief among the godly in late sixteenth and early seventeenth century England, Church History, Vol. 77, No. 3, pp. 574- 595
  • Darwin's World (2009) History Today, Vol. 59, No. 2, pp. 60 - 61
  • Homer-Dixon, T. (2009) The newest science, Alternatives Journal, Vol. 35, No. 4, pp. 8 - 11

Cite this Research Paper:

APA Format

Printing and the Spread of Knowledge (2012, June 11) Retrieved December 05, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Printing and the Spread of Knowledge" 11 June 2012. Web. 05 December. 2023. <>