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Objectivity - (Mit Press) by Lorraine Daston & Peter Galison (Paperback)

Objectivity - (Mit Press) by  Lorraine Daston & Peter Galison (Paperback) - image 1 of 1
Objectivity - (Mit Press) by  Lorraine Daston & Peter Galison (Paperback) - image 1 of 1
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About this item

Specifications

Number of Pages: 501

Genre: Philosophy

Sub-Genre: Epistemology

Series Title: Mit Press

Format: Paperback

Publisher: Zone Books

Age Range: Teen

Author: Lorraine Daston & Peter Galison

Language: English

Street Date: November 5, 2010
TCIN: 78117130
UPC: 9781890951795
Item Number (DPCI): 247-77-3454

Description

The emergence of objectivity in the mid-nineteenth-century sciences, as revealed through images in scientific atlases--a story of how lofty epistemic ideals fuse with workaday practices.

Objectivity has a history, and it is full of surprises. In Objectivity, Lorraine Daston and Peter Galison chart the emergence of objectivity in the mid-nineteenth-century sciences--and show how the concept differs from its alternatives, truth-to-nature and trained judgment. This is a story of lofty epistemic ideals fused with workaday practices in the making of scientific images.

From the eighteenth through the early twenty-first centuries, the images that reveal the deepest commitments of the empirical sciences--from anatomy to crystallography--are those featured in scientific atlases, the compendia that teach practitioners what is worth looking at and how to look at it. Galison and Daston use atlas images to uncover a hidden history of scientific objectivity and its rivals. Whether an atlas maker idealizes an image to capture the essentials in the name of truth-to-nature or refuses to erase even the most incidental detail in the name of objectivity or highlights patterns in the name of trained judgment is a decision enforced by an ethos as well as by an epistemology.

As Daston and Galison argue, atlases shape the subjects as well as the objects of science. To pursue objectivity--or truth-to-nature or trained judgment--is simultaneously to cultivate a distinctive scientific self wherein knowing and knower converge. Moreover, the very point at which they visibly converge is in the very act of seeing not as a separate individual but as a member of a particular scientific community. Embedded in the atlas image, therefore, are the traces of consequential choices about knowledge, persona, and collective sight. Objectivity is a book addressed to anyone interested in the elusive and crucial notion of objectivity--and in what it means to peer into the world scientifically.

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