dunnettreader + scientific_culture   28

Andrew Gelman - The problems with p-values are not just with p-values: My comments on the recent ASA statement - March 2016
His blog Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science -- The American Statistical Association just released a committee report on the use of p-values. I was one of the members of the committee but I did not write the…
Instapaper  quantitative_methods  statistics  social_sciences  uncertainty  probability  methodology-quantitative  scientific_culture  research  publishing-academic  pharma  causation  evidence  from instapaper
march 2016 by dunnettreader
Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - James and Dewey on Abstraction, The Pluralist, 07/2014 | via Researchgate
elucidates the abstraction-reification account diagnosed by James and Dewey and locates it in contemporary scientific work. Section 2 -- the complex process of abstraction in James and Dewey, and with a nod to CS Peirce. Identifying 3 stages in the abstraction process— singling out, symbolizing, and systematizing—clarifies the parallels between James’s and Dewey’s analyses. Section 3 -- pragmatists’ warnings against committing abstractionist fallacies. Identifies pernicious reification as neglecting 3 kinds of context: functional, historical, and analytical-level. Both philosophers implored everyday reasoners, scientists, and philosophers to attend to context. Reification, qua pathology of abstraction, results in disease symptoms such as universalized, narrowed, and/ or ontologized abstractions. Acknowledging the importance of biographical and social conditions, the genealogy and mutual influence of James’s and Dewey’s perspectives are traced, especially in endnotes. Section 4 -- how James and Dewey avoid reifying the very distinction with which they are weaving their analysis: the abstract vs. the concrete. Conclusion -- following the pragmatic forward-looking attitude, a gesture is made toward developing medicines (pluralism and assumption archaeology) out of the abstraction-reification account. After all, pernicious reification is to abstraction as disease is to health. Such treatments permit de-reifying ill models in contemporary science. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  pragmatism  James_William  Dewey  Peirce  epistemology  logic-Dewey  abstraction  essence  essentialism  reification  sociology_of_knowledge  sociology_of_science  sociology_of_science_&_technology  scientific_method  scientific_culture  induction  modelling  reason  downloaded 
january 2016 by dunnettreader
Thierry Hoquet - Paul Feyerabend, anarchiste des sciences (career retrospective) - La Vie des idées - April 2015
Paul Feyerabend ne cessa de critiquer le rationalisme et l’approche abstraite de la philosophie des sciences, enfermée dans son jargon et son logicisme. Quitte à prêter le flanc au relativisme et à passer pour « le pire ennemi de la science » ? -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  French_language  intellectual_history  20thC  post-WWII  philosophy_of_science  epistemology  scepticism  methodology  Feyerabend  Popper  Laktos  Wittgenstein  scientific_method  Galileo  physics  astronomy  Scientific_Revolution  scientific_culture  sociology_of_knowledge  downloaded 
december 2015 by dunnettreader
Joanna Picciotto - Reforming the Garden: The Experimentalist Eden and "Paradise Lost" (2005) | JSTOR - ELH
ELH, Vol. 72, No. 1 (Spring, 2005), pp. 23-78 -- very long article with vast numbers of references to literary, naturao philosophy, and religious works of 17thC and early 18thC plus lit survey of work on sociology of knowledge, English lit since the cultural turn, and religious culture. Downloaded pdf to Note
article  jstor  intellectual_history  religious_history  cultural_history  17thC  18thC  British_history  English_lit  experimental_philosophy  Bacon  Boyle  Locke  Milton  Royal_Society  Evelyn  religious_culture  religious_lit  sociology_of_knowledge  sociology_of_science_&_technology  microscope  Scientific_Revolution  scientific_culture  science-and-religion  scientific_method  curiosity  Fall  original_sin  Paradise_Lost  improvement  instruments  Hooke  Donne  poetry  virtuosos  epistemology  virtue_epistemology  nature-mastery  bibliography  downloaded 
november 2015 by dunnettreader
Paul Newall interview with John Dupré: The Disunity of Science (2006) - The Galilean Library
John Dupré is a professor of philosophy of science in the Department of Sociology and Philosophy at Exeter University in the UK, and also the director of Egenis, the ESRC Centre for Genomics in Society. I was able to ask him about several keys areas of his work and relate it to contemporary issues in both science and the philosophy of science. -- Hits all my hot buttons. Anti mathematization of economics and its divorce from empiricism, disdainful of evo-devo psych, the Centre is part of a larger program looking at impacts of genetics and biology, from philosophy through sociology, economics, politics, art and humanities. Pal of Nancy Cartwright, Philip Kitcher and part of the "Stanford School". Author of Darwin's Legacy on Kindle -- downloaded page as pdf to Note
interview  philosophy_of_science  scientific_method  scientific_culture  scientism  methodology  laws_of_nature  empiricism  pragmatism  genetics  evolutionary_biology  molecular_biology  epigenetics  evo_psych  economic_models  mathematization  kindle  downloaded 
july 2015 by dunnettreader
The Evolution of Phylogenetic Systematics - Edited by Andrew Hamilton - E-Book - University of California Press
.. aims to make sense of the rise of phylogenetic systematics—its methods, its objects of study, and its theoretical foundations—with contributions from historians, philosophers, and biologists. (...) an intellectual agenda for the study of systematics and taxonomy in a way that connects classification with larger historical themes in the biological sciences, including morphology, experimental and observational approaches, evolution, biogeography, debates over form and function, character transformation, development, and biodiversity. It aims to provide frameworks for answering the question: how did systematics become phylogenetic? -- the 1st Chapter excerpt is a fabulous history of "waves" of new species identification of primarily mammals tied to intellectual, social, economic, cultural and geopolitical history -- his case study is the shift to N American museums organizing large numbers of surveys collecting many samples that gave data on varieties within same species, varying ecologies, etc in the "inner frontiers" in the late19thC and early 20thC -- possible due to "the logic of capital" (railroads penetrating regions to foreclose competition, land speculators), curators leaving the city to obtain materials for the fashion in diaoramas, patronage newly attracted, white collar middle class embracing self-improvement via nature study on holiday, new conservationist attitudes toward Nature etc.
books  kindle-available  biology  taxonomies  species  natural_history  evolutionary_biology  phylogenetics  history_of_science  18thC  19thC  20thC  public_sphere  science-public  cultural_history  cultural_change  material_culture  frontier  leisure  exploration  colonialism  imperialism  museums  collections  virtuosos  scientific_culture  nature  nature-mastery  conservation  self-development 
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Alan Jacobs - climate science and public scrutiny | Text Patterns ' July 2015
Praise for Hansen's' approach -- his conclusions may be "alarmist" or a truly significant shift in possibility of catastrophe -- but he's showing his work and providing full access to the data he's using so that other scientists can participate, whether to find holes or to build on his work -- he should be praised for the ethical stance and for modeling the behavior that the scientific community should be adopting
Pocket  climate  climate-models  ocean  scientific_culture  scientific_method  science-and-politics  sociology_of_knowledge  sociology_of_science_&_technology  epistemology-moral  epistemology-social  virtue_epistemology  from pocket
july 2015 by dunnettreader
Justin E.H. Smith - Nature, Human Nature, and Human Difference: Race in Early Modern Philosophy (2015) | Princeton University Press
People have always been xenophobic, but an explicit philosophical and scientific view of human racial difference only began to emerge during the modern period. Why and how did this happen? Surveying a range of philosophical and natural-scientific texts, dating from the Spanish Renaissance to the German Enlightenment, (Smith) charts the evolution of the modern concept of race and shows that natural philosophy, particularly efforts to taxonomize and to order nature, played a crucial role. Smith demonstrates how the denial of moral equality between Europeans and non-Europeans resulted from converging philosophical and scientific developments, including a declining belief in human nature’s universality and the rise of biological classification. The racial typing of human beings grew from the need to understand humanity within an all-encompassing system of nature, alongside plants, minerals, primates, and other animals. While racial difference as seen through science did not arise in order to justify the enslavement of people, it became a rationalization and buttress for the practices of trans-Atlantic slavery. From the work of François Bernier to Leibniz, Kant, and others, Smith delves into philosophy’s part in the legacy and damages of modern racism. -- Smith is university professor of the history and philosophy of science at the Université Paris Diderot—Paris VII. ...author of Divine Machines: Leibniz and the Sciences of Life (PUP), coeditor and cotranslator of The Leibniz-Stahl Controversy -- downloaded introduction to Note -- only hdbk, will be in ebook
books  kindle-available  intellectual_history  cultural_history  racism  racialism  16thC  17thC  18thC  Europe-Early_Modern  exploration  Spanish_Empire  Spain  Renaissance  natural_philosophy  biology  taxonomies  Latin_America  West_Indies  North_America  Native_Americans  indigenous_peoples  slavery  West_Africa  Africa  African_trade  life_sciences  history_of_science  philosophy_of_science  sociology_of_knowledge  French_Enlightenment  Leibniz  Kant  anatomy  Adam  Scientific_Revolution  scientific_culture  science-and-religion  science-public  science_of_man 
june 2015 by dunnettreader
L'Europe des Lumières - Classiques Garnier - collection directors Michel Delon, Jacques Berchtold et Christophe Martin
De ce qu'on appelle la crise de la conscience européenne à la Révolution française, la littérature et la pensée ont pour espace une Europe, souvent francophone, éprise d'idées nouvelles et d'expérimentations formelles. La collection rend compte de recherches qui sollicitent des disciplines et des méthodes diverses pour mieux connaître et comprendre la vie intellectuelle, scientifique, artistique et littéraire du XVIIIe siècle, ainsi que l'histoire des idées et des représentations. -- From what has been designated as a "crisis of conscience" to the Revolution, literature and thought play in a European space, often French-speaking, entranced by new ideas and formal experiments. The collection covers research which calls on a variety of disciplines and methods in order to better know and understand the intellectual, scientific, artistic and literary life of the 18th century, as well as the history of ideas and representations.
books  18thC  Europe-Early_Modern  Enlightenment  French_Enlightenment  intellectual_history  history_of_science  philosophy_of_science  sociology_of_knowledge  natural_philosophy  art_history  literary_history  Scientific_Revolution  scientific_culture  philosophes  Republic_of_Letters  public_sphere  publishing 
may 2015 by dunnettreader
Frédérique Aït-Touati, Stephen Gaukroger, Le monde en images. Voir, représenter, savoir, de Descartes à Leibniz (2015) | Classiques Garnier, coll. « Histoire et philosophie des sciences »
Frédérique Aït-Touati, Stephen Gaukroger, Le monde en images. Voir, représenter, savoir, de Descartes à Leibniz, Paris, Classiques Garnier, coll. « Histoire et philosophie des sciences », 2015, 128 p., ISBN : 978-2-8124-2589-9. -- Dans les débats classiques des 17thC-18thC, la représentation est considérée avant tout comme une question rhétorique et psychologique, mais à la fin du 18thC, elle devient une question épistémologique. Cet ouvrage explore le contexte de cette transformation et ses sources. l’émergence du problème de la représentation -- not edited collection, but co-authored study of a bit over 100 pages -- Chapters in TOC -- 1. Rhétorique et théorie de l’image vive 2. la révolution cartésienne  3. représenter l’invisible - Philosophie naturelle et visualisation chez Robert Hooke   4. les limites de la visualisation - Le débat entre Newton et Leibniz sur l’algèbre (a) La géométrie contre l’analyse  (b) L’analyse infnitésimale et la question de la preuve directe (c) La géométrie contre le calcul diférentiel  (d) Visualisation et capacités cognitives humaines  (e) Visualisation -- online pruce 19€
books  history_of_science  philosophy_of_science  sociology_of_knowledge  natural_philosophy  astronomy  ontology  epistemology  17thC  18thC  Descartes  representation-metaphysics  ideas-theories  Hooke  Leibniz  Newton  scientific_method  scientific_culture  instruments  microscope  telescope  unobservables  mathematics  geometry  calculus  cognition  analysis-logic  images  rhetoric  rhetoric-visual 
may 2015 by dunnettreader
Chad Wellmon - The Thin Reed of Humanism | The Infernal Machine - Hedgehog Review - Jan 2015
Leon Wieseltier is at his cantankerous best in his latest essay (..) reprising many of the themes of his public feud with Steven Pinker in the pages of the New Republic(..) are cultural barometers of our impoverished cultural imagination concerning the relationship of science, the humanities, and technology. (..) he’s gesturing toward real concerns about the reductive materialism or naturalism that tends to underlie the work of popular polemicists like Dawkins, Dennet, and Pinker. He is not denying that our world and our selves can, in part, be explained through material mechanisms. When critics invoke “humanism” against “scientism” or “technologism,” they presume to know the proper boundaries of science and technology; they presume that they can readily and forcefully articulate where scientific knowledge ends and humanistic knowledge begins. They assume the role of guardians of our intellectual and ethical world. That’s a heavy burden. But it’s also a presumption that ignores how much of our knowledge comes from these border crossings. -- discusses etymology of "humanism" - 1808 Germany used contra Enlightenment-era education to develop "natural" capacities, treated by the author as privileging man the "animal" unlike "humanism" that sybordinated body to reason, etc. -- also cites James Schmidt's detective work re origins of "scientism"
cultural_critique  intellectual_history  19thC  20thC  21stC  scientistism  humanism  reductionism  human_nature  humanities  dualism  Enlightenment  Counter-Enlightenment  cultural_history  cultural_change  cultural_authority  scientific_culture  naturalism  technology  from instapaper
february 2015 by dunnettreader
Stephanie Snow, review - Michael Brown, Performing Medicine: Medical Culture and Identity in Provincial England, c.1760-1850 (Manchester University Press, 2011) | Reviews in History
Dr Stephanie Snow, Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of Manchester -- Brown takes a cultural historical approach (..) the ways in which medical identity and culture were transformed over the period from the late 18thC importance of liberal learning and the values of gentility and politeness to the early 19thC focus on vocationally specific forms of knowledge and association. (..) Through a case study of the social and intellectual activities of medical practitioners in the city of York, (..) crucial shifts in the culture of medicine between the 1760s and the 1850s. York (..) a geographical midway point between two key medical metropolises – London and Edinburgh; it did not experience the transformations associated with the processes of industrialization; yet it was shaped by many of the specific characteristics of the period such as political factionalism, the urban renaissance movement and ideologies of socio-scientific progressivism. (..) the ways through which medical practitioners fashioned their identities through public displays of knowledges such as botany, natural history, poetry and literature. Improvements in the health of the population (..) were principally due to the civic improvements in York such as paving and new drains as well as inoculation and other medical advances. [In the later 1830s] successive enactments of medical identity and authority set the stage for a new compact between medicine and society in which medical practitioners were nationally cast as experts in medical science with a collective desire and duty to alleviate disease and suffering. The transformations (..) are underlined by the public’s acceptance of the Medical School’s authority, under the provisions of the Anatomy Act, to dissect the body of a local man who had drowned in the river Ouse in 1835. Only 3 years earlier, (..) popular resistance to such activities during the cholera epidemic was high indeed. (..)case for the relevance of this history to the present dilemmas and controversies over professionalism and medicine and rightly stresses the social and political contingency of medical ideas and values. -- downloaded as pdf to Note
books  reviews  18thC  19thC  British_history  cultural_history  history_of_science  medicine  professionalization  scientific_culture  public_health  politeness  gentility  networks-social  networks-information  authority  improvement  urbanization  education-training  education-professional  public_policy  public_opinion  status  self-fashioning  identity  downloaded  EF-add 
january 2015 by dunnettreader
Peter Elmer, review - Paul Kleber Monod, Solomon's Secret Arts: the Occult in the Age of Enlightenment (Yale University Press 2013) | Reviews in History
Peter Elmer, University of Exeter -- This important work provides the first informed, well-researched and highly nuanced account of the fortunes of ‘occult’ thought and practice in England from the mid17thC to its demise at the end of the 18thC. Building on the work of a wide range of scholars from various disciplines, (..) the fortunes of the occult are argued to have peaked in the second half of the 17thC, dipped in the period from the Glorious Revolution to 1760, and then re-emerged in the last 4 decades of the 18thC in somewhat different but revitalized form. As Monod shows (..) the occult (defined broadly as alchemy, astrology and natural magic) was rarely perceived as a uniform movement of ideas, its adherents frequently picking and choosing those elements of the ‘occult’ which most appealed to them. It was thus a protean body of ideas, susceptible to frequent re-interpretation according to the personal preoccupations of the initiated. At the same time, while some of its adherents may have (in the earlier period especially) seen it as a body of ideas capable of replacing older systems of science and philosophy, it more often than not was studied and developed alongside other, competing systems of thought. (..) What is invigoratingly original here is Monod’s application of the same accommodating features of occult thinking with regard to Newtonianism and the Enlightenment in the later period. (..) it is hard to disagree with his conclusion that ‘the assumption of many historians, that occult thinking was debunked by experimental science … is essentially wrong’.(..) all the arguments against astrology, alchemy and natural magic had been fully developed long before 1650. This is equally true of witchcraft, (..) The occult was not simply argued out of existence. Only wider factors can help to explain this process. (..) in order to understand this process, we need to pay more heed to the wider social, religious and political context in which these ideas were promoted and debated. -- downloaded as pdf to Note
books  reviews  kindle-available  17thC  18thC  British_history  cultural_history  religious_history  religious_culture  religious_belief  intellectual_history  Scientific_Revolution  scientific_culture  Enlightenment  natural_philosophy  occult  chemistry  alchemy  medicine  Newtonian  astronomy  astrology  magic  hermeticism  esotericism  publishing  Charles_II  court_culture  Church_of_England  witchcraft  political_culture  Tories  dissenters  Evangelical  Whigs  Defoe  Thompson_EP  rationality  reason  social_history  experimental_philosophy  downloaded  EF-add 
january 2015 by dunnettreader
Talal Asad - Historical notes on the idea of secular criticism « The Immanent Frame - Jan 2008
I have tried to underline the very different understandings people have had of it in Western history, understandings that can’t be reduced to the simple distinction between secular criticism (freedom and reason) and religious criticism (intolerance and obscurantism). The practice of secular criticism is now a sign of the modern, of the modern subject’s relentless pursuit of truth and freedom, of his or her political agency. It has almost become a duty, closely connected to the right to free expression and communication. But every critical discourse has institutional conditions that define what it is, what it recognizes, what it aims at, what it is destroying – and why. Neither philosophical nor literary criticism can successfully claim to be the privileged site of reason. It matters whether the criticism/critique in question is conducted in the form of parody and satire, confession of sins, political auto-critique, professional criticism, or speech under analysis. One might say that if these are all possible instances of critique/criticism, then what we have here is a family concept for which it is not possible to provide a single theory because the practices that constitute them differ radically. And yet there is, perhaps, something distinctive after all about the historical concept of “critique” that Foucault wanted to identify, something other than the varieties of critical practice to which I have pointed: In some areas of our modern life, there is the insistent demand that reasons be given for almost everything. The relation to knowledge, to action, and to other persons, that results when this demand is taken as the foundation of all understanding, is perhaps what Foucault had in mind when he spoke of critique. “The critical attitude” is the essence of secular heroism. -- downloaded page as pdf to Note
critique  intellectual_history  cultural_history  Europe-Early_Modern  science-and-religion  Scientific_Revolution  scientific_method  Popper  Kant  Foucault  secularism  secular_humanism  concepts-change  Koselleck  rhetoric  rhetoric-moral_basis  epistemology-social  scientific_culture  political_culture  authority  genealogy-method  individualism  agency  Enlightenment-ongoing  Bayle  scepticism  Republic_of_Letters  disciplines  downloaded  EF-add 
november 2014 by dunnettreader
Khan, B. - An Economic History of Copyright in Europe and the United States | EH.Net Encyclopedia, edited by Robert Whaples. March 16, 2008
The US created a utilitarian market-based model of intellectual property grants which created incentives for invention, with the primary objective of increasing social welfare and protecting the public domain. The checks and balances of interest group lobbies, the legislature and the judiciary worked effectively as long as each institution was relatively well-matched in terms of size and influence. However, a number of scholars are concerned that the political influence of corporate interests, the vast number of uncoordinated users over whom the social costs are spread, and international harmonization of laws have upset these counterchecks, leading to over-enforcement at both the private and public levels. International harmonization with European doctrines introduced significant distortions in the fundamental principles of US copyright and its democratic provisions. One of the most significant of these changes was also one of the least debated: compliance with the precepts of the Berne Convention accorded automatic copyright protection to all creations on their fixation in tangible form. This rule reversed the relationship between copyright and the public domain that the US Constitution stipulated. According to original US copyright doctrines, the public domain was the default, and copyright a limited exemption to the public domain; after the alignment with Berne, copyright became the default, and the rights of the public and of the public domain now merely comprise a limited exception to the primacy of copyright. The pervasive uncertainty that characterizes the intellectual property arena today leads risk-averse individuals and educational institutions to err on the side of abandoning their right to free access rather than invite challenges and costly litigation. Many commentators are also concerned about other dimensions of the globalization of intellectual property rights, such as the movement to emulate European grants of property rights in databases, which has the potential to inhibit diffusion and learning.
article  economic_history  publishing  property  property_rights  legal_history  legal_system  IP  regulation-harmonization  natural_rights  natural_law  copyright  patents  US_constitution  15thC  16thC  17thC  18thC  19thC  20thC  international_law  France  French_Revolution  censorship  British_history  authors  artists  playwrights  democracy  knowledge_economy  Internet  globalization  global_economy  digital_humanities  transparency  open_access  scientific_culture  science-public  education  R&D  education-higher  common_law  civil_code  civil_society  civic_humanism  US_legal_system 
september 2014 by dunnettreader
Ian Hacking - Paradigms Regained - Thomas Kuhn's "Structure of Scientific Revolutions" 50 years later | The Los Angeles Review of Books
Excerpts from Hacking's introduction to the 50th anniversary reissue by the University of Chicago Press -- interesting comments re Kuhn's distaste for how some postmodernists and sociologists used his work, claimed him as an ally etc
books  bookshelf  intellectual_history  history_of_science  philosophy_of_science  sociology_of_knowledge  20thC  post-WWII  Kuhn  epistemology  anti-foundationalism  truth  Scientific_Revolution  scientific_method  scientific_culture  historiography-Whig  EF-add 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Hayek on Prediction in the Social Sciences | Social Democracy for the 21st Century: A Post Keynesian Perspective: August 2014
Lord Keynes looking at Hayek's 1974 Nobel lecture -- If Hayek is saying here that the natural sciences could exactly predict everything about the game given enough information (including presumably the brain states of human players), then he is committed to the view that the world is completely deterministic, and that our uncertainty about it is merely epistemic and caused by the insuperable difficulties of gathering enough information for calculations. In contrast to this, Post Keynesians emphasise the ontological nature of uncertainty, and this commits them to a philosophical position quite different from that of Hayek. The notion of “spontaneous ordering forces” that bring order to markets (like Smith’s “invisible hand” metaphor) seems overrated too. “Spontaneous ordering forces” must be understood as emergent properties. That complex social and economic systems can display emergent properties that result in greater stability is not in doubt, but other emergent properties (e.g., the outcome of the paradox of thrift or distress selling in a market crash) can also be highly deleterious and destabilising. Hayek badly neglected such destabilising forces in his rhetoric about markets. -- see bookmark for html of lecture on Nobel Prize site
20thC  intellectual_history  economic_theory  macroeconomics  microeconomics  markets  information-markets  equilibrium  emergence  laisser-faire  Hayek  uncertainty  probability  determinism  Post-Keynesian  philosophy_of_science  philosophy_of_social_science  scientism  scientific_method  scientific_culture  EF-add 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Devin Henry - "Embryological Models in Ancient Philosophy" by | Phronesis 50.1 (2005): 1-42.
Devin Henry, The University of Western Ontario -- Historically embryogenesis has been among the most philosophically intriguing phenomena. In this paper I focus on one aspect of biological development that was particularly perplexing to the ancients: self-organisation. For many ancients, the fact that an organism determines the important features of its own development required a special model for understanding how this was possible. This was especially true for Aristotle, Alexander, and Simplicius who all looked to contemporary technology to supply that model. However, they did not all agree on what kind of device should be used. In this paper I explore the way these ancients made use of technology as a model for the developing embryo. However, my purpose here is more than just the historical interest of knowing which devices were used by whom and how each of them worked; I shall largely ignore the details of how the various devices actually worked. Instead I shall look at the use of technology from a philosophical perspective. As we shall see, the different choices of device reveal fundamental differences in the way each thinker understood the nature of biological development itself. Thus, the central aim of this paper is to examine, not who used what devices and how they worked, but why they used those particular devices and what they thought their functioning could tell us about the nature of embryological phenomena. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  intellectual_history  ancient_philosophy  Aristotle  natural_philosophy  history_of_science  ancient_Greece  biology  generation  inheritance  development-biological  embryology  scientific_culture  scientific_method  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Nico Voigtländer, Mara Squicciarini, Knowledge elites, enlightenment, and industrialisation | vox 13 July 2014
Although studies of contemporary economies find robust associations between human capital and growth, past research has found no link between worker skills and the onset of industrialisation. This column resolves the puzzle by focusing on the upper tail of the skill distribution, which is strongly associated with industrial development in 18th-century France. -- uses density of subscriptions to the Encyclopédie to analyze spatial distribution of knowledge elites which they find strongly associated with industrialization post 1750.
economic_history  economic_growth  Industrial_Revolution  industrialization  Enlightenment  French_Enlightenment  18thC  19thC  academies  elite_culture  bourgeoisie  nobility  technology  Innovation  sociology_of_knowledge  knowledge_economy  education  literacy  Encyclopédie  scientific_culture  science-public  Scientific_Revolution  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Kenan Malik - THE SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENT AND ITS SOUL | Pandaemonium - May 2014
The science writer Philip Ball recently published a post on his blog Homunculus in which he wondered why modern scientific instruments seem to lack the beauty and soul of those of centuries past. Stephen Curry, professor of structural biology at Imperial College, wrote in response, on Occam’s Corner, the Guardian-hosted science blog, a wonderful little essay, in which he questioned some of Philip’s assumptions but made also a case for scientists to have more than an instrumental relationship to their instruments. Philip Ball then wrote an equally insightful reply in which he argued that scientific instruments are made not simply to do a job but also to express a certain image of science, to ‘employ a particular visual rhetoric’ in his words. The changing character of scientific instruments, he suggested, reflects the changing image of science that scientists wish to covey. -- Ball re visual rhetoric - what, and who, these instruments were for. Even for Galileo, the scientific experiment was still at least as much a demonstration as it was an exploration: it was a way of showing that your ideas were right. ...And in the earliest of the early modern era, during the late Renaissance, scientific instruments were objects of power. They were used by the virtuosi to delight and entertain their noble patrons, and thereby to imply a command of the occult forces of nature. For such a display, it was important that a device be impressive to look at: elegance was the key attribute of the courtly natural philosopher.
intellectual_history  cultural_history  Renaissance  16thC  17thC  Scientific_Revolution  scientific_culture  science-public  virtuosos  patrons  scientific_method  experimental_philosophy  Galileo  Hooke  links  EF-add 
may 2014 by dunnettreader
Val Dusek - Bruno Latour, An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns // Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // March 2014
The strongest chapter is the one concerning technology. This is an area Latour worked on extensively much earlier. Actor network theory started with technology. Latourcriticizes the identification of technological objects with beings of reproduction (natural objects). He makes use of the need for technological artifacts to be continually maintained and improved. "Sociotechnical systems" designates the heterogeneity of technology, but there is no realm of technology as such. Technology becomes invisible as soon as it is functioning successfully. He plays on Heraclitus with "Technology likes to hide." The language of form fitted to function is, according to Latour, as misleading as the correspondence between thought and things in reference. During a breakdown the extreme heterogeneity is most manifest. Latour identifies technology not with the artifacts but with the activity of technologizing. Technology is properly referred to not with a noun, but with an adjective or an adverb, and less commonly a verb. Technology is not an object, but the gaps of alterity in the network of tinkering. -- A problem for philosophies that make massive claims that our ordinary views are illusory is the explanation of why the illusion exists and persists. Latour as an anthropologist claims that moderns are no more different from non-moderns than any other group or culture is from another. However, it seems that neither Trobriand Islanders nor any other non-modern group have such illusory values and ideals impossible to live by as do the moderns. It would seem moderns really are different from peoples of other cultures for Latour, but not in the way in which moderns represent their own special nature in terms of the triumph of science and reason. Why the moderns are in this supposedly deplorable situation is never really explained.
books  reviews  kindle-available  21stC  modernity  anthropology  metaphysics  ontology  ontology-social  epistemology  mind  mind-body  perception  James_William  Whitehead  sociology_of_knowledge  sociology-process  sociology_of_religion  Cartesian  technology  science-and-religion  scientific_culture  Latour 
march 2014 by dunnettreader
Beryl Lieff Benderly, book review - Academia's Crooked Money Trail | Science Careers Jan 2012
“Follow the money!” -- The strategy also serves Georgia State University economist Paula Stephan extremely well in her illuminating and accessible new book, How Economics Shapes Science. A leading expert on the scientific labor market, Stephan isn’t looking to sniff out high-level government corruption. Rather, using the “tool bag” economics provides for “analyzing the relationships between incentives and costs,” she penetrates the financial structure of university-based science, explaining the motivation and behavior of everyone from august university presidents and professors to powerless and impecunious graduate students and postdocs. Undergraduates also carry an increasing share of the load, she adds: Their tuition, often paid with student loans, rises as more funds go to research. Their teachers, meanwhile, increasingly are cut-rate adjuncts rather than the famous professors the recruiting brochures boast about.
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march 2014 by dunnettreader
J. V. Golinski - A Noble Spectacle: Phosphorus and the Public Cultures of Science in the Early Royal Society | JSTOR: Isis, Vol. 80, No. 1 (Mar., 1989), pp. 11-39
Huge bibliography of both primary and secondary literature -- chemistry and link to medicine were important for experimental_philosophy, but the flashiness of experiments for the public could both attract public interest and provide ammunition for enemies -- downloaded pdf to Note
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january 2014 by dunnettreader
Jessica Riskin, review essay - Newton and Monotheism | JSTOR: Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences, Vol. 40, No. 3 (Summer 2010), pp. 399-408
Reviewed work(s): (1) Peter Dear. The Intelligibility of Nature: How Science Makes Sense of the World. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007. xii + 242 pp., illus., index. ISBN 978-0-226-13949-4. $17.00 (paper). ; *--* (2) Stephen Gaukroger. The Emergence of a Scientific Culture: Science and the Shaping of Modernity 1210–1685. Oxford: Clarendon, 2006. ix + 563 pp., illus., index. ISBN 978-0-199-55001-2. $39.95 (paper). ; *--* (3) Peter Harrison. The Fall of Man and the Foundations of Science. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007. xi + 300 pp., index. ISBN 978-0-521-87559-2. $43.00 (paper). ; *--* (4) George Saliba. Islamic Science and the Making of the European Renaissance. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007. xi + 315 pp., illus., index. ISBN 978-0-262-19557-7. $43.00 (hardcover).
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january 2014 by dunnettreader

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