The Ad Hoc Collective Work of Building Gothic Cathedrals with Templates, String, and Geometry

Science, Technology and Human Values 18 (3):315-340 (1993)
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Abstract

Gothic cathedrals like Chartres were built in a discontinuous process by groups of masons using their own local knowledge, measures, and techniques. They had neither plans nor knowledge of structural mechanics. The success of the masons in building such large complex innovative structures lies in the use of templates, string, constructive geometry, and social organization to assemble a coherent whole from the messy heterogeneous practices of diverse groups of workers. Chartres resulted from the ad hoc accumulation of the work of many men.

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Author's Profile

David Turnbull
James Cook University

References found in this work

How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Personal Knowledge.Michael Polanyi - 1958 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Changing Order: Replication and Induction in Scientific Practice.Harry Collins - 1985 - Chicago, IL, USA: University of Chicago Press.

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