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Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 June 2023

Joshua Ehrlich
Affiliation:
University of Macau
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Summary

The East India Company is remembered as the world’s most powerful, not to say notorious, corporation. But for many of its advocates from the 1770s to the 1850s, it was also the world’s most enlightened one. As Joshua Ehrlich reveals in this original account, a commitment to the cause of knowledge was integral to the Company’s ideology. Ehrlich shows how the Company cited this commitment in defense of its increasingly fraught union of commercial and political power. He moves beyond studies of orientalism, colonial knowledge, and information with a new approach: the history of ideas of knowledge. He recovers a world of debate among the Company’s officials and interlocutors, Indian and European, on the political uses of knowledge. Not only were these historical actors highly articulate on the subject but their ideas continue to resonate in the present. Knowledge was a fixture in the politics of the Company—just as it seems to be becoming a fixture in today’s politics.

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Chapter
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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  • Introduction
  • Joshua Ehrlich, University of Macau
  • Book: The East India Company and the Politics of Knowledge
  • Online publication: 22 June 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009367967.001
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  • Introduction
  • Joshua Ehrlich, University of Macau
  • Book: The East India Company and the Politics of Knowledge
  • Online publication: 22 June 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009367967.001
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Introduction
  • Joshua Ehrlich, University of Macau
  • Book: The East India Company and the Politics of Knowledge
  • Online publication: 22 June 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009367967.001
Available formats
×