Oct 10

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Critical Theory, Philosophy of Science and New Media

I am proposing a session that I hope will call upon the collective interest of any members in the humanities whose work intersect with critical questions in science and the history of science in any way. As scholars in the fields of the humanities, including that of history, are turning increasingly to digital tools that they hope will help organize what is available so that what is missing can be more easily foregrounded, conceptualize arguments and directions especially when working in under-explored fields, and work out that interdisciplinary intellectual connections so as to make it more of a bi or multi-directional exchange.

There is no shortage of philosophers and critical theorist who are interested in interrogating science and using science objects not only to talk about  problems that are directly connected with scientific knowledge, but also to use the discussions arising from that to look at analogous and parallel problems in the other fields. Among the philosophers who write extensively about science, or whose philosophy draws on work analyzed in science, are Descartes, Leibniz, Newton, Schelling, Husserl, that group of the Vienna Circle which included Popper, Lakatos, Deleuze, Bergson, Serres, Simondon,Whitehead, de Landa, Harding, Hacking, Stengers, Longino, Barad, are just among some in the long list of philosophers past and contemporary who work in areas of philosophy of science or in the critical interrogation of scientific objects and thoughts, and extending their discourse across disciplines.

Among the themes I would like to include for discussion, though they are by no means arbitrary:

  • How much science do we need to know to create a productive philosophy without subordinating oneself to its master dialectics?
  • Is there such a thing as a critical theory of science and how can it look like?
  • How can critical theory in other areas such as in media theory and other areas of the humanities help bring new¬† and fresh perspectives for envisioning theories of science more creatively, even if they seem epistemologically in contradistinction?
  • What are the concepts of symmetry and assymetry of information in science and the humanities, and how that helps us think through the existing and emergent medium for knowledge transmission, interaction and actualization?
  • What are the existing and emergent forms of ‘old’ and ‘new’ media, and even in the discourse of media ‘archaeology’ and trans.mediality, that lends itself to a more productive interdisciplinary exchange across epistemically dissimilar fields while enabling the complication of that exchange?
  • What are the available digital tools for historians of science, and those who work in the interdisciplinary trading-zone between science and the humanities, that can help in creating multimodal interrogation of critical objects that can then be incorporated into the more traditional writing and publication process? How can we make such tools more amenable to the different disciplinary methods, and even interdisciplinary methods.
  • What are the ethical issues involved in such interrogations and how do we include contents of culture, politics, and the social into the interrogation without over-extending that possibility?


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Permanent link to this article: http://theory2012.thatcamp.org/10/10/critical-theory-philosophy-of-science-and-new-media/

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