The Mangle of Practice: Time, Agency, and Science

The Mangle of Practice: Time, Agency, and Science

by Andrew Pickering

NOOK Book(eBook)

View All Available Formats & Editions

Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
WANT A NOOK?  Explore Now
LEND ME® See Details


This ambitious book by one of the most original and provocative thinkers in science studies offers a sophisticated new understanding of the nature of scientific, mathematical, and engineering practice and the production of scientific knowledge.

Andrew Pickering offers a new approach to the unpredictable nature of change in science, taking into account the extraordinary number of factors—social, technological, conceptual, and natural—that interact to affect the creation of scientific knowledge. In his view, machines, instruments, facts, theories, conceptual and mathematical structures, disciplined practices, and human beings are in constantly shifting relationships with one another—"mangled" together in unforeseeable ways that are shaped by the contingencies of culture, time, and place.

Situating material as well as human agency in their larger cultural context, Pickering uses case studies to show how this picture of the open, changeable nature of science advances a richer understanding of scientific work both past and present. Pickering examines in detail the building of the bubble chamber in particle physics, the search for the quark, the construction of the quarternion system in mathematics, and the introduction of computer-controlled machine tools in industry. He uses these examples to address the most basic elements of scientific practice—the development of experimental apparatus, the production of facts, the development of theory, and the interrelation of machines and social organization.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226668253
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 12/15/2010
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 296
File size: 2 MB

Table of Contents

1: The Mangle of Practice
2: Machines: Building the Bubble Chamber
3: Facts: The Hunting of the Quark
4: Concepts: Constructing Quaternions
5: Technology: Numerically Controlled Machine Tools
6: Living in the Material World
7: Through the Mangle

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The Mangle of Practice: Time, Agency and Science 0 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 0 reviews.