The Perspective of the Instruments: Mediating Collectivity

Bas de Boer (Corresponding Author), Hedwig Te Molder, Peter Paul Verbeek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
37 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Numerous studies in the fields of Science and Technology Studies (STS) and philosophy of technology have repeatedly stressed that scientific practices are collective practices that crucially depend on the presence of scientific technologies. Postphenomenology is one of the movements that aims to draw philosophical conclusions from these observations through an analysis of human–technology interactions in scientific practice. Two other attempts that try to integrate these insights into philosophy of science are Ronald Giere’s Scientific Perspectivism (2006) and Davis Baird’s Thing Knowledge (2004). In this paper, these two approaches will be critically discussed from the perspective of postphenomenology. We will argue that Giere and Baird problematically assume that scientific instruments (a) have a determined function, and (b) that all human members of a scientific collective have immediate access to this function. However, these assumptions also allow them to offer a clear answer to the question how scientists can collectively relate to scientific phenomena. Such an answer is not yet (explicitly) formulated within the postphenomenological perspective. By adding a postphenomenological touch to the semiotic approach in Actor-Network Theory, we offer an account of how different individual human–technology relations are integrated into larger scientific collectives. We do so by showing that scientific instruments not only help constitute scientific phenomena, but also the intersubjectivity within such collectives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)739-755
Number of pages17
JournalFoundations of science
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

Fingerprint

Scientific Practice
Collectivity
Postphenomenology
Scientific Instruments
Intersubjectivity
Philosophy of Science
Perspectivism
Philosophy of Technology
Actor-network Theory
Interaction

Keywords

  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Postphenomenology
  • Scientific instruments
  • Scientific Perspectivism
  • Technological mediation
  • Thing knowledge
  • Actor-Network Theory

Cite this

@article{ff376c2043a247cea29e9bf4aa7672db,
title = "The Perspective of the Instruments: Mediating Collectivity",
abstract = "Numerous studies in the fields of Science and Technology Studies (STS) and philosophy of technology have repeatedly stressed that scientific practices are collective practices that crucially depend on the presence of scientific technologies. Postphenomenology is one of the movements that aims to draw philosophical conclusions from these observations through an analysis of human–technology interactions in scientific practice. Two other attempts that try to integrate these insights into philosophy of science are Ronald Giere’s Scientific Perspectivism (2006) and Davis Baird’s Thing Knowledge (2004). In this paper, these two approaches will be critically discussed from the perspective of postphenomenology. We will argue that Giere and Baird problematically assume that scientific instruments (a) have a determined function, and (b) that all human members of a scientific collective have immediate access to this function. However, these assumptions also allow them to offer a clear answer to the question how scientists can collectively relate to scientific phenomena. Such an answer is not yet (explicitly) formulated within the postphenomenological perspective. By adding a postphenomenological touch to the semiotic approach in Actor-Network Theory, we offer an account of how different individual human–technology relations are integrated into larger scientific collectives. We do so by showing that scientific instruments not only help constitute scientific phenomena, but also the intersubjectivity within such collectives.",
keywords = "UT-Hybrid-D, Postphenomenology, Scientific instruments, Scientific Perspectivism, Technological mediation, Thing knowledge, Actor-Network Theory",
author = "{de Boer}, Bas and {Te Molder}, Hedwig and Verbeek, {Peter Paul}",
note = "Springer deal",
year = "2018",
month = "12",
doi = "10.1007/s10699-018-9545-3",
language = "English",
volume = "23",
pages = "739--755",
journal = "Foundations of science",
issn = "1233-1821",
publisher = "Springer",
number = "4",

}

The Perspective of the Instruments : Mediating Collectivity. / de Boer, Bas (Corresponding Author); Te Molder, Hedwig; Verbeek, Peter Paul.

In: Foundations of science, Vol. 23, No. 4, 12.2018, p. 739-755.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The Perspective of the Instruments

T2 - Mediating Collectivity

AU - de Boer, Bas

AU - Te Molder, Hedwig

AU - Verbeek, Peter Paul

N1 - Springer deal

PY - 2018/12

Y1 - 2018/12

N2 - Numerous studies in the fields of Science and Technology Studies (STS) and philosophy of technology have repeatedly stressed that scientific practices are collective practices that crucially depend on the presence of scientific technologies. Postphenomenology is one of the movements that aims to draw philosophical conclusions from these observations through an analysis of human–technology interactions in scientific practice. Two other attempts that try to integrate these insights into philosophy of science are Ronald Giere’s Scientific Perspectivism (2006) and Davis Baird’s Thing Knowledge (2004). In this paper, these two approaches will be critically discussed from the perspective of postphenomenology. We will argue that Giere and Baird problematically assume that scientific instruments (a) have a determined function, and (b) that all human members of a scientific collective have immediate access to this function. However, these assumptions also allow them to offer a clear answer to the question how scientists can collectively relate to scientific phenomena. Such an answer is not yet (explicitly) formulated within the postphenomenological perspective. By adding a postphenomenological touch to the semiotic approach in Actor-Network Theory, we offer an account of how different individual human–technology relations are integrated into larger scientific collectives. We do so by showing that scientific instruments not only help constitute scientific phenomena, but also the intersubjectivity within such collectives.

AB - Numerous studies in the fields of Science and Technology Studies (STS) and philosophy of technology have repeatedly stressed that scientific practices are collective practices that crucially depend on the presence of scientific technologies. Postphenomenology is one of the movements that aims to draw philosophical conclusions from these observations through an analysis of human–technology interactions in scientific practice. Two other attempts that try to integrate these insights into philosophy of science are Ronald Giere’s Scientific Perspectivism (2006) and Davis Baird’s Thing Knowledge (2004). In this paper, these two approaches will be critically discussed from the perspective of postphenomenology. We will argue that Giere and Baird problematically assume that scientific instruments (a) have a determined function, and (b) that all human members of a scientific collective have immediate access to this function. However, these assumptions also allow them to offer a clear answer to the question how scientists can collectively relate to scientific phenomena. Such an answer is not yet (explicitly) formulated within the postphenomenological perspective. By adding a postphenomenological touch to the semiotic approach in Actor-Network Theory, we offer an account of how different individual human–technology relations are integrated into larger scientific collectives. We do so by showing that scientific instruments not only help constitute scientific phenomena, but also the intersubjectivity within such collectives.

KW - UT-Hybrid-D

KW - Postphenomenology

KW - Scientific instruments

KW - Scientific Perspectivism

KW - Technological mediation

KW - Thing knowledge

KW - Actor-Network Theory

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85041900573&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s10699-018-9545-3

DO - 10.1007/s10699-018-9545-3

M3 - Article

VL - 23

SP - 739

EP - 755

JO - Foundations of science

JF - Foundations of science

SN - 1233-1821

IS - 4

ER -