The mangle of practice : time, agency, and science

  title={The mangle of practice : time, agency, and science},
  author={Andrew Pickering},
  journal={Contemporary Sociology},
  • A. Pickering
  • Published 1 July 1997
  • Sociology
  • Contemporary Sociology
This text offers an understanding of the nature of scientific, mathematical and engineering practice, and the production of scientific knowledge. The author presents an approach to the unpredictable nature of change in science, taking into account the 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… 
Rationality and The Disunity of The Sciences
The canonical model of science as a unified body of universal, objective truth has now to be set against a variety of studies locating science in historical, philosophical and sociological
Humanities Computing: Essential Problems, Experimental Practice
It is argued that the field as a whole does not wait on a theoretical formulation of what humanists do, rather should look to the tradition of experimental knowledge-making as this has been illuminated in recent years by historians, philosophers, and sociologists of science.
‘Agency is Everywhere’
In this encounter, historian and philosopher of science Hans-Jörg Rheinberger discusses to what extent the performative paradigm can be made useful for understanding the natural sciences and how the
Beyond Metaphor: Mathematical Models in Economics as Empirical Research
The Argument When economists report on research using mathematical models, they use a literary form similar to the experimental report in the laboratory sciences. This form consists of a narrative of
Instrumentalism , and the Public Understanding of Science
Two seemingly complementary trends stand out currently in school science education in the United States: one is the increased emphasis on inquiry activities in classrooms, and the other is the high
Spreading the Tools of Theory
Historians and sociologists have highlighted the importance of skills, local practices and material culture in their studies of experimental sciences. This paper argues that the acquisition and
A Constructivist Reading of Process and Reality
Throughout much of his writing, Whitehead outlines a critique of what he termed the `bifurcation of nature'. This position divides the world into objective causal nature, on the one hand, with the
Introduction: A Mingled Yarn
The history of science has become crucial to the larger discipline of history, and the essays gathered in this volume demonstrate why. They reveal the entanglements of the history of science with all
Towards a Pragmatist-Inspired Philosophy of Social Science
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Power, Technology and the Phenomenology of Conventions: On being Allergic to Onions
On the one hand, recent studies in sociology of science and technology have been concerned to address the issue of heterogeneity: how different elements, and different perspectives, are joined in the
The Concept of Observation in Science and Philosophy
Through a study of a sophisticated contemporary scientific experiment, it is shown how and why use of the term 'observation' in reference to that experiment departs from ordinary and philosophical
The Social Shaping of Technology
Technological change is often seen as something that follows its own logic - something we may welcome, or about which we may protest, but which we are unable to alter fundamentally. This reader
Astronomers mark time: discipline and the personal equation
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Two Theorists of Action: Ihering and Weber
Abstract Rudolf von Ihering was the leading German philosopher of law of the nineteenth century. He was also a major source of Weber’s more famous sociological definitions of action.
Knowledges : Historical and Critical Studies in Disciplinarity
Introduction: Disciplinary Ways of Knowing, Ellen Messer-Davidow, David R. Shumway, and David Sylvan. Part 1 Genealogies: Accounting as Discipline - The Overlooked Supplement, Keith W. Hoskin and
Feedback Thought in Social Science and Systems Theory
This is a study of a method of thinking in the social sciences known as the loop concept. This concept underlies the notions of feedback and circular causality. After tracing its historical roots,
Quantification and the Accounting Ideal in Science
Objectivity in science has normally been defined by scholars as almost synonymous with realism. It may be advantageous to think of it instead in terms of impersonality, an ideal that would replace
Darwin and the Emergence of Evolutionary Theories of Mind and Behavior
Robert J. Richards contends that Darwin, Herbert Spencer, and their disciples attempted to reanimate moral life, believing that the evolutionary process gave heart to unselfish, altruistic behavior.
A Theory of Structure: Duality, Agency, and Transformation
  • W. Sewell
  • Economics
    American Journal of Sociology
  • 1992
"Structure" is one of the most important, elusive, and undertheorized concepts in the social sciences. Setting out from a critique and reformulation of Anthony Giddens's notion of the duality of