The principles of meaning: networks of knowledge in Johnson’s
Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary of the English language stands, alongside the French Encyclopédie and Chambers’ Cyclopedia, as a major eighteenth- century project of knowledge creation. Like the intricate designs that connect articles in the encyclopedias, Johnson’s definitions are densely woven with hundreds of thousands of quotations from individual authors, offering fascinating insights into both Johnson’s lexicography and the ways in which the Dictionary concretised the relationships between words and texts. Using a networked-based approach, this chapter explores these connections and reveals the ways in which Johnson’s Dictionary built connections that sought to legislate the practices of reading in the eighteenth century.
Part 3: Knowledge Networks