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- DescriptionAn Epistemology of the Concrete brings together case studies and theoretical reflections on the history and epistemology of the life sciences by Hans-Jorg Rheinberger, one of the world's foremost philosophers of science. In these essays, he examines the history of experiments, concepts, model organisms, instruments, and the gamut of epistemological, institutional, political, and social factors that determine the actual course of the development of kwledge. Building on ideas from his influential book Toward a History of Epistemic Things, Rheinberger first considers ways of historicizing scientific kwledge, and then explores different configurations of genetic experimentation in the first half of the twentieth century and the interaction between apparatuses, experiments, and concept formation in molecular biology in the second half of the twentieth century. He delves into fundamental epistemological issues bearing on the relationship between instruments and objects of kwledge, laboratory preparations as a special class of epistemic objects, and the te-taking and write-up techniques used in research labs. He takes up topics ranging from the French historical epistemologists Gaston Bachelard and Georges Canguilhem to the liquid scintillation counter, a radioactivity measuring device that became a crucial tool for molecular biology and biomedicine in the 1960s and 1970s. Throughout An Epistemology of the Concrete, Rheinberger shows how assemblages-historical conjunctures-set the conditions for the emergence of epistemic velty, and he conveys the fascination of scientific things: those organisms, spaces, apparatuses, and techniques that are transformed by research and that transform research in turn.
- Author BiographyHans-Jorg Rheinberger is Director at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin. He is the author of On Historicizing Epistemology: An Essay and Toward a History of Epistemic Things: Synthesizing Proteins in the Test Tube.
- Author(s)Hans-Jorg Rheinberger
- PublisherDuke University Press
- Date of Publication06/09/2010
- SubjectScience: General & Reference
- Series TitleExperimental Futures
- Place of PublicationNorth Carolina
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintDuke University Press
- Content Note43 illustrations, 2 tables
- Weight458 g
- Width3963 mm
- Height5969 mm
- Spine20 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US)
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