• History of printing - From Gutenberg to the Laser Printer

    Rochelle Forrester (see profile)
    Historical theory and the philosophy of history
    Social evolution, Technology, History, Macrosociology
    Item Type:
    history of printing, Gutenberg, movable type, moveable type, Johannes Gutenberg, speculative philosophy of history, substantive philosophy of history, Cultural evolution, History of technology
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    The ultimate cause of much historical, social and cultural change is the gradual accumulation of knowledge of the environment. Human beings use the materials in their environment to meet their needs and increased human knowledge of the environment enables human needs to be met in a more efficient manner. Humans have a need to communicate, as they are social beings, and the development of printing enabled them to communicate in a more efficient manner. The human environment has a particular structure so that human knowledge of the environment is acquired in a particular order. The simplest knowledge is acquired first and more complex knowledge is acquired later. Inevitably, printing was invented after the invention of writing, as it is a more efficient way of writing. Printing, as developed in Europe in the 15th century, also required the prior invention of paper, the knowledge of which had spread from China, and of moveable metal type, inks and presses. The order of discovery determined the course of human social and cultural history as knowledge of new and more efficient means of communication, resulted in the spread of new scientific ideas and technology, and in the development of new social and ideological ideas, such as the reformation, the enlightenment and democracy. This means human social and cultural history, has to follow a particular course, a course that is determined by the structure of the human environment.
    Last Updated:
    4 years ago


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