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Objectivity (Zone Books) av Lorraine Daston
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Objectivity (Zone Books) (utgåvan 2010)

av Lorraine Daston (Författare), Peter Galison (Författare)

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290570,626 (3.75)5
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.… (mer)
Medlem:Something_Boring
Titel:Objectivity (Zone Books)
Författare:Lorraine Daston (Författare)
Andra författare:Peter Galison (Författare)
Info:Zone Books (2010), Edition: Illustrated, 504 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
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Objectivity av Lorraine Daston

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In Objectivity, Lorraine Daston and Peter Galison write, “Over the course of the nineteenth century other scientists, from astronomers probing the very large to bacteriologists peering at the very small, also began questioning their own traditions of idealizing representation in the preparation of their atlases and handbooks. What had been a supremely admirable aspiration for so long, the stripping away of the accidental to find the essential, became a scientific vice” (pg. 16). Defining their terms, they write, “Objectivity preserves the artifact or variation that would have been erased in the name of truth; it scruples to filter out the noise that undermines certainty” (pg. 17). They trace the movement from truth-to-nature to objectivity to trained judgement. Daston and Galison argue, “The history of objectivity is only a subset, albeit an extremely important one, of the much longer and larger history of epistemology – the philosophical examination of obstacles to knowledge” (pg. 31-32). Daston and Galison use atlases as their primary sources as these demonstrate the changing focus of image makers and their justification for new atlases reveal their objectives.
Daston and Galison write, “Truth-to-nature and objectivity are both estimable epistemic virtues, but they differ from each other in ways that are consequential for how science is done and what kind of person one must be to do it” (pg. 58). Of their sources, they write, “There is no atlas in any field that does not pique itself on its fidelity to nature. But in order to decide whether an atlas picture is a faithful rendering of nature, the atlas maker must first decide what nature is” (pg. 66). In this way, “eighteenth century atlases demanded more than mere accuracy of detail. What was portrayed was as important as how it was portrayed, and atlas makers were expected to exercise judgment in both cases, even as they tried to eliminate the wayward judgments of their artists with grids, measurements, or the camera obscura” (pg. 79). Later ethical concerns about scientists’ imposing their will led to mechanical objectivity, which Daston and Galison define as “the insistent drive to repress the willful intervention of the artist-author, and to put in its stead a set of procedures that would, as it were, move nature to the page through a strict protocol, if not automatically” (pg. 121). They write, “Objectivity was an ideal, true, but it was a regulative one: an ideal never perfectly attained but consequential all the way down to the finest moves of the scientist’s pencil and the lithographer’s limestone” (pg. 143). Of its impact, Daston and Galison write, “Over the course of the nineteenth century other scientists – from botanists to zoocrystallographers, from astronomers probing the large to physicists poring over the small – began questioning their own disciplinary traditions of idealizing representation in preparing durable compendiums of images” (pg. 160).
Moving forward in time, Daston and Galison write, “By the middle decades of the nineteenth century, the epistemology and ethos of truth-to-nature had been supplemented (and, in some cases, superseded) by a new and powerful rival: mechanical objectivity. The new creed of objectivity permeated every aspect of science, from philosophical reflections on metaphysics and method to everyday techniques for making observations and images” (pg. 195). They continue, “Just as structural objectivity stretched the methods of mechanical objectivity beyond rules and representations, it carried the ethos of self-suppression to new extremes” (pg. 260). Daston and Galison write, “Slowly at first and then more frequently, twentieth-century scientists stressed the necessity of seeing scientifically through an interpretive eye; they were after an interpreted image that became, at the very least, a necessary addition to the perceived inadequacy of the mechanical one – but often they were more than that. The use of trained judgment in handling images became a guiding principle of atlas making in its own right” (pg. 311).
Entering the twentieth century, Daston and Galison write, “Early twentieth-century scientists reframed the scientific self. Increasingly, they made room in their exacting depictions for an unconscious, subjective element” (pg. 361). Finally, Daston and Galison conclude, “A history of knowledge that links epistemic virtues with distinctive selves of the knower traces a trajectory of a different shape from familiar histories of philosophy and science. Instead of a jagged break in the seventeenth century, in which knowledge is once and for all divorced from the person of the knower – the rupture that allegedly announces modernity – the curve is at once smoother and more erratic: smoother, because knowledge and knower never became completely decoupled; more erratic, because new selves and epistemic virtues, new ways of being and ways of knowing, appear at irregular intervals” (pg. 375). ( )
  DarthDeverell | Oct 30, 2017 |
In their landmark monograph, Daston and Galison examine the visual practices of scientific epistemology in the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries, arguing that the development of these practices goes hand-in-hand with the development of the scientific self; these practices are needed because the scientific self is being conceptualized in certain ways (5-7), because “it is fear that drives epistemology” (49). If the scientist is afraid of being self-interested, then scientific sight must become disinterested. Daston and Galison are quick to articulate that their project is a disinterested enterprise itself, concerned with “what objectivity is – how it functions in the practices of science,” not objectivity as a praise- or blameworthy concept (51). It's an exhaustively thorough undertaking, and their concepts almost immediately illuminated for me some of the differences in the way that scientists are portrayed in the nineteenth century, with their distinctions between truth-to-nature and mechanical objectivity. Daston and Galison say that they imagined their “study as a beginning rather than an end” and hope it will lead to other histories being written (6)... one of those histories might be mine, someday!
  Stevil2001 | Aug 14, 2013 |
Really neat history of the epistemology of Western scientific knowledge through the history of how scientists created, thought about, and represented images. The authors argue that various concepts competed and responded to each other through the general concept of “objectivity,” from truth-to-nature (requiring an ideal) to mechanical objectivity (requiring a picture made without human intervention) to responses to mechanical objectivity that involved either abandoning images entirely or exercising human judgment to pick and evaluate pictures. Objectivity is always defined with reference to subjectivity, and thus the debate over what an appropriate scientific image is also requires debate over the definition of what a good scientist is. A specialized but satisfying read. ( )
1 rösta rivkat | Mar 30, 2011 |
An analysis of the development of objectivity in scientific thought from the 1800's until present. This theme is developed around the use of scientific atlases that were generated to be used as objective reference points in scientific thought. Examples of these would be atlases of flower types, birds, star charts, etc.

The major thesis is that the use of these atlases, and therefore the mirrored development of scientific objectivity, went through three main stages; these were: truth to nature, mechanical objectivity and trained judgment.

Truth to nature was exemplified by realistic drawings that were generally made by an artist supervised by an expert, a process they refer to as "four eye sight".

It was often the case that such an approach, although appearing detailed, was not necessarily that realistic. The second stage, mechanical objectivity, relied on the use of impersonal visualization techniques such as daguerreotype and photography. Eventually it was determined that such methods were also dependent on many subjective variables such as lighting effects and angles. It is also true that some photographs require an expert to interpret the information contained in them.

The final stage of "trained judgment" flows from this limitation. In this stage of the history of objectivity, trained experts consciously attempt to apply objectivity to the reasoning processes involved in assessing data such as spectral charts, radiograms and so forth.

This is an expansive and satisfying work. There is a scholarly attention to detail with respect to setting the historical framework of these ideas. The book is copiously and beautifully illustrated with supporting drawings and images. ( )
2 rösta Tod_Christianson | Jun 1, 2008 |
There is something missing from this otherwise interesting book: medicine. The nineteenth century marked the time when medical practitioners abandoned their individualistic approach in favour of a collective scientific mentality. Daston and Galison stick with the more scientific sciences and thus miss the opportunity to explore the emergence of objectivity in the murkier areas of science such as clinical medicine. ( )
  bentoth | Nov 27, 2007 |
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Lorraine Dastonprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Galison, Peterhuvudförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
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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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