David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 40 (3):179-189 (2009)
Biochemists investigating the problem of the vitamins in the early years of the twentieth century were working without an object, as such. Although they had developed a fairly elaborate idea of the character of the ‘vitamine’ and its role in metabolism, vitamins were not yet biochemical objects, but rather ‘functional ascriptions’ and ‘explanatory devices’. I suggest that an early instance of the changing status of the object of the ‘vitamins’ can be found in their stabilization, through the course of World War I, as bio-political objects for the British and Allied war effort. Vitamins emerged as players, active agents, in Britain’s wartime bio-political problems of food distribution and population health and because of this they became increasingly real as bio-political objects, even prior to their isolation as bio-chemical molecules. I suggest that the materiality of our biology has agency in the development of political regimes and schemes
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References found in this work BETA
Aaron J. Ihde & Stanley L. Becker (1971). Conflict of Concepts in Early Vitamin Studies. Journal of the History of Biology 4 (1):1 - 33.
Citations of this work BETA
Stephen W. Speake (2011). Infectious Milk: Issues of Pathogenic Certainty Within Ideational Regimes and Their Biopolitical Implications. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 42 (4):530-541.
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