Science in the age of mechanical reproduction: Moral and epistemic relations between diagrams and photographs [Book Review]

Biology and Philosophy 6 (2):205-226 (1991)
Abstract
Sociologists, philosophers and historians of science are gradually recognizing the importance of visual representation. This is part of a more general movement away from a theory-centric view of science and towards an interest in practical aspects of observation and experimentation. Rather than treating science as a matter of demonstrating the logical connection between theoretical and empirical statements, an increasing number of investigations are examining how scientists compose and use diagrams, graphs, photographs, micrographs, maps, charts, and related visual displays. This paper focuses on diagrams in biology, and tries to demonstrate how diagrams are an integral part of the production of scientific knowledge. In order to disclose some of the distinctive practical and analytical uses of diagrams, the paper contrasts the way diagrams and photographs are used in biological texts. Both diagrams and photographs are shown to be “constructions” that separately and together mediate the investigation of scientific phenoman.
Keywords Diagrams  ethnomethodology  knowledge  photography  representation  science  sociology
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Otávio Bueno (2011). When Physics and Biology Meet: The Nanoscale Case. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 42 (2):180-189.
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