Thing Knowledge: A Philosophy of Scientific Instruments / Edition 1

Thing Knowledge: A Philosophy of Scientific Instruments / Edition 1

by Davis Baird
     
 


"Davis Baird's Thing Knowledge uses instruments to do philosophy. Grappling with a wonderful assortment of objects—from antique orreries to modern spectrographs—he draws the reader deep into fascinating questions about the nature of knowledge. All too often, the knowledge Baird pursues here has been obscured by accounts that reduce understandingSee more details below

Overview


"Davis Baird's Thing Knowledge uses instruments to do philosophy. Grappling with a wonderful assortment of objects—from antique orreries to modern spectrographs—he draws the reader deep into fascinating questions about the nature of knowledge. All too often, the knowledge Baird pursues here has been obscured by accounts that reduce understanding to theory. By contrast, in this rich text Baird shows the myriad of ways that models and devices do work in science: by representing, by manipulating, by measuring, and by calculating. This is a book as lucid on the semantic account of theories as it is on the inner workings of the cyclotron; it is a book that brings the laboratory to philosophers and philosophy into the laboratory."—Peter Galison, author of Einstein's Clocks, Poincare's Maps: Empires of Time

"Davis Baird has given us something new and demanding to think about: namely, in addition to propositional knowledge, he argues, there is 'thing knowledge.' That is, scientific instruments embody or encapsulate knowledge in ways that most often not transparent. In making his case, Baird forces us to reconceptualize how we go about doing science and how to understand the product of human labor, both intellectual and manual. Thing Knowledge is must reading for anyone interested in the development of science and its attendant technologies."—Joseph C. Pitt, author of Thinking About Technology: Foundations of the Philosophy of Technology

"Over the years the new frontier in philosophy of science has been on logic, then on theories to most recently on models and experimentation. Davis Baird goes one step further and considers the 'immediate' kind of knowledge embodied by scientific instruments and devices. His book is highly thought provoking and will become a classic source."—Eric Scerri, UCLA, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and editor of Foundations of Chemistry.

"From the air pump to the dynamo to the cyclotron, machines have played key roles in the development of scientific knowledge. Here, for the first time, Davis Baird looks at those machines as actual forms of scientific knowledge. Baird moves adeptly from historical case study to philosophical explanation in this convincing study of the material culture of science."—Ann Johnson, Department of History, Fordham University

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520232495
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
02/10/2004
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
294
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile:
1270L (what's this?)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations and Tables
Preface

1.
Instrument Epistemology
2. Models: Representing Things
3. Working Knowledge
4. Encapsulating Knowledge
5. The Instrumentation Revolution
6. Thing Knowledge
7. The Thing-y-ness of Things
8. Between Technology and Science
9.
Instrumental Objectivity
10. The Gift

References

Index

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >