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Profile: Alfred Nordmann (Technische Universität Darmstadt)
  1. Nicola Moeßner & Alfred Nordmann (eds.) (forthcoming). The Epistemology of Measurement: Representational and Technological Dimensions. Chatto & Pickering.
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  2. Alfred Nordmann (forthcoming). Hanging Together, Falling Apart. Metascience.
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  3. Alfred Nordmann (2014). Das Gefühl der Welt als begrenztes Ganzes: Sachlichkeit. Zeitschrift für Kulturphilosophie 2014 (1):89-99.
    It requires objectivity to acquire scientific knowledge of facts, it requires Sachlich­keit or a feeling for the mechanism to acquire technical knowledge of how things work together in a system or device. Each of these epistemic ideals is normatively charged but only the notion of scientific objectivity considers knowledge production as a historical process. And while scientific objectivity served as an ideal for communicative rationality in an open and democratic society, Sachlichkeit underwrites the search for innovative solutions in contemporary knowledge (...)
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  4. Alfred Nordmann (2012). Another Parting of the Ways: Intersubjectivity and the Objectivity of Science. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (1):38-46.
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  5. Alfred Nordmann (2012). Nanotechnology. In Jan Kyrre Berg Olsen Friis, Stig Andur Pedersen & Vincent F. Hendricks (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Technology. Wiley-Blackwell.
     
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  6. Alfred Nordmann (2012). Object Lessons: Towards an Epistemology of Technoscience. Scientiae Studia 10 (SPE):11-31.
    Discussions of technoscience are bringing to light that scientific journals feature very different knowledge claims. At one end of the spectrum, there is the scientific claim that a hypothesis needs to be reevaluated in light of new evidence. At the other end of the spectrum, there is the technoscientific claim that some new measure of control has been achieved in a laboratory. The latter claim has not received sufficient attention as of yet. In what sense is the achievement of control (...)
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  7. Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent, Sacha Loeve, Alfred Nordmann & Astrid Schwarz (2011). Matters of Interest: The Objects of Research in Science and Technoscience. [REVIEW] Journal for General Philosophy of Science 42 (2):365-383.
    This discussion paper proposes that a meaningful distinction between science and technoscience can be found at the level of the objects of research. Both notions intermingle in the attitudes, intentions, programs and projects of researchers and research institutions—that is, on the side of the subjects of research. But the difference between science and technoscience becomes more explicit when research results are presented in particular settings and when the objects of research are exhibited for the specific interest they hold. When an (...)
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  8. Martin Carrier & Alfred Nordmann (2011). Science in the Context of Application: Methodological Change, Conceptual Transformation, Cultural Reorientation. In. In M. Carrier & A. Nordmann (eds.), Science in the Context of Application. Springer. 1--7.
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  9. Alfred Nordmann (2011). Science in the Context of Technology. In. In M. Carrier & A. Nordmann (eds.), Science in the Context of Application. Springer. 467--482.
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  10. Alfred Nordmann (2011). Was wissen die Technowissenschaften. In Carl-Friedrich Gethmann (ed.), Lebenswelt Und Wissenschaft. Meiner Verlag. 566--79.
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  11. Alfred Nordmann, Hans Radder & Gregor Schiemann (eds.) (2011). Science Transformed?: Debating Claims of an Epochal Break. University of Pittsburgh Press.
    This edited volume presents an in-depth examination of these issues from philosophical, historical, social, and cultural perspectives.
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  12. Astrid Schwarz & Alfred Nordmann (2011). “Hier Bin Ich Mensch, Hier Darf Ich's Sein!”—Partaking in the Nanoworld. NanoEthics 5 (2):233-243.
    Images from the nanoworld are not at all disorienting or bewildering, as one might expect from contemplating the strange and surprising features that arise where classical physics comes to an end and quantum effects begin to appear. Instead, we see the traces of explorers in a world that appears to be infinitely malleable. The paper shows that the capability to visualize processes and phenomena at the nanoscale is a matter not only of research technologies and the advancement of observational techniques, (...)
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  13. Astrid Schwarz & Alfred Nordmann (2011). The Political Economy of Technoscience. In. In M. Carrier & A. Nordmann (eds.), Science in the Context of Application. Springer. 317--336.
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  14. Hasok Chang, Alfred Nordmann, Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent & Jonathan Simon (2010). Ask Not What Philosophy Can Do for Chemistry, but What Chemistry Can Do for Philosophy. Metascience 19 (3):373-383.
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  15. Arianna Ferrari & Alfred Nordmann (2010). Beyond Conversation: Some Lessons for Nanoethics. [REVIEW] NanoEthics 4 (2):171-181.
    One of the aims of the DEEPEN project was to deepen ethical understanding of issues related to emerging nanotechnologies through an interdisciplinary approach utilizing insights from philosophy, ethics, and the social sciences. Accordingly, part of its final report was dedicated to the question of what was accomplished with regards to this aim and what further research is required. It relates two insights: Nanotechnologies intensify the ambivalence of ongoing, long-term developments; and yet, our intuitions and received story-lines fail us as a (...)
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  16. Alfred Nordmann (2010). A Forensics of Wishing: Technology Assessment in the Age of Technoscience. [REVIEW] Poiesis and Praxis 7 (1-2):5-15.
    If one considers the Collingridge dilemma to be a dilemma awaiting a solution, one has implicitly abandoned a genuinely historical conception of the future and adopted instead a notion of the future as an object of technical design, the realisation of technical possibility or as wish-fulfilment. The definition of technology assessment (TA) as a successful response to the Collingridge dilemma renders it a technoscience that shares with all the others the conceit of being able, supposedly, to shape the future. An (...)
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  17. Alfred Nordmann (2010). Beyond Conversation: Some Lessons for Nanoethics. [REVIEW] NanoEthics 4 (2):171-181.
    One of the aims of the DEEPEN project was to deepen ethical understanding of issues related to emerging nanotechnologies through an interdisciplinary approach utilizing insights from philosophy, ethics, and the social sciences. Accordingly, part of its final report was dedicated to the question of what was accomplished with regards to this aim and what further research is required. It relates two insights: Nanotechnologies intensify the ambivalence of ongoing, long-term developments; and yet, our intuitions and received story-lines fail us as a (...)
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  18. Alfred Nordmann & Phil Macnaghten (2010). Engaging Narratives and the Limits of Lay Ethics: Introduction. [REVIEW] NanoEthics 4 (2):133-140.
    How can one discover the ethical issues associated with nanotechnologies? One heuristic is to tend closely to the ethical reflections of lay publics and the ways in which these are informed by experience with technological innovation, technology governance, and the (broken) promises of visionary science and technology. A close collaboration between social scientists and philosophers took this heuristic to its limits: On the one hand, it achieved remarkably fine–grained insights into public reflection about nanotechnologies. On the other hand, a philosophical (...)
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  19. Alfred Nordmann (2009). Invisible Origins of Nanotechnology: Herbert Gleiter, Materials Science, and Questions of Prestige. Perspectives on Science 17 (2):pp. 123-143.
    Herbert Gleiter promoted the development of nanostructured materials on a variety of levels. In 1981 already, he formulated research visions and produced experimental as well as theoretical results. Still he is known only to a small community of materials scientists. That this is so is itself a telling feature of the imagined community of nanoscale research. After establishing the plausibility of the claim that Herbert Gleiter provided a major impetus, a second step will show just how deeply Gleiter shaped (and (...)
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  20. Alfred Nordmann (2008). Mit der Natur über die Natur hinaus. In G. Hofmeister, K. Köchy & M. Norwig (eds.), Nanobiotechnologien. Philosophische, Anthropologische Und Ethische Fragen. Alber. 131--147.
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  21. Alfred Nordmann (2007). If and Then: A Critique of Speculative Nanoethics. [REVIEW] NanoEthics 1 (1):31-46.
    Most known technology serves to ingeniously adapt the world to the physical and mental limitations of human beings. Humankind has acquired awesome power with its rather limited means. Nanotechnological capabilities further this power. On some accounts, however, nanotechnological research will contribute to a rather different kind of technological development, namely one that changes human beings so as to remove or reduce their physical and mental limitations. The prospect of this technological development has inspired a fair amount of ethical debate. Here, (...)
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  22. Alfred Nordmann (2007). Knots and Strands: An Argument for Productive Disillusionment. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 32 (3):217 – 236.
    This article offers a contrast between European and US-American approaches to the convergence of enabling technologies and to associated issues. It identifies an apparently paradoxical situation in which regional differences produce conflicting claims to universality, each telling us what can and will happen to the benefit of humanity. Those who might mediate and negotiate these competing claims are themselves entangled in the various positions. A possible solution is offered, namely a universalizable strategy that aims to disentangle premature claims to unity (...)
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  23. Michael Friedman & Alfred Nordmann (eds.) (2006). . Mit Press.
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  24. Michael Friedman & Alfred Nordmann (eds.) (2006). The Kantian Legacy in Nineteenth-Century Science. The Mit Press.
    Historians of philosophy, science, and mathematics explore the influence of Kant'sphilosophy on the evolution of modern scientific thought.
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  25. Alfred Nordmann (2005). Noumenal Technology. Techne 8 (3):3-23.
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  26. Alfred Nordmann (2005). Wittgenstein's Tractatus: An Introduction. Cambridge University Press.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein's 'Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus' is one of the most important books of the twentieth century. It influenced philosophers and artists alike and it continues to fascinate readers today. It offers rigorous arguments but clothes them in enigmatic pronouncements. Wittgenstein himself said that his book is 'strictly philosophical and simultaneously literary, and yet there is no blathering in it'. This introduction considers both the philosophical and the literary aspects of the 'Tractatus' and shows how they are related. It also shows how (...)
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  27. Cyrus Cm Mody, Davis Baird, Alfred Nordmann & Joachim Schummer (2004). Discovering the Nanoscale. In Baird D. (ed.), Discovering the Nanoscale. Ios.
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  28. Alfred Nordmann (2004). Molecular Disjunctions: Staking Claims at the Nanoscale. In Baird D. (ed.), Discovering the Nanoscale. Ios. 51--62.
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  29. James Klagge & Alfred Nordmann (eds.) (2003). Ludwig Wittgenstein: Public and Private Occasions. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
     
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  30. Alfred Nordmann (2003). A History of the Ideas of Theoretical Physics: Essays on the 19th and 20th Century Physics (Vol. 213 of Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science). [REVIEW] Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 34 (4):677-679.
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  31. Alfred Nordmann (2002). Another New Wittgenstein: The Scientific and Engineering Background of The. Perspectives on Science 10 (3):356-384.
  32. Keith Burgess‐Jackson, Cheshire Calhoun, Susan Finsen, Chad W. Flanders, Heather J. Gert, Peter G. Heckman, John Kelsay, Michael Lavin, Michelle Y. Little, Lionel K. McPherson, Alfred Nordmann, Kirk Pillow, Ruth J. Sample, Edward D. Sherline, Hans O. Tiefel, Thomas S. Tomlinson, Steven Walt, Patricia H. Werhane, Edward C. Wingebach & Christopher F. Zurn (2001). Book Notes. [REVIEW] Ethics 112 (1):189-201.
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  33. Davis Baird & Alfred Nordmann (1999). Editors' Introduction: Forays Into the Trading Zone of Image and Logic. Perspectives on Science 7 (2):147-150.
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  34. Davis Baird & Alfred Nordmann (1999). Editor's Introduction to Peter Galison's Image and Logic and This Pos Collection of Critical Essays. Perspectives on Science 7 (2):147-150.
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  35. Alfred Nordmann (1999). Establishing Commensurability: Intercalation, Global Meaning and the Unity of Science. Perspectives on Science 7 (2):181-195.
    : In the face of disunification and incommensurability, how can the scientific community maintain itself and (re-)establish commensurability? According to Peter Galison's investigations of twentieth-century microphysics, commensurability is achieved through local coordination even in the absence of global meaning: The "strength and coherence" of science is due to diverse, yet coordinated action in trading zones between theorists and experimenters, experimenters and instrument builders, etc. Galison's claim is confronted with Georg Christoph Lichtenberg's establishment of commensurability between unitarians and dualists in the (...)
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  36. Davis Baird & Alfred Nordmann (1994). Facts-Well-Put. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 45 (1):37-77.
    In this paper we elucidate a particular type of instrument. Striking-phenomenon instruments assume their striking profile against the shifting backdrop of theoretical uncertainties. While technologically stable, the phenomena produced by these instruments are linguistically fuzzy, subject to a variety of conceptual representations. But in virtue of their technological stability alone, they can provide a foundation for further technological as well as conceptual development. Sometimes, as in the case of the pulse glass, the phenomenon is taken to confirm conflicting theoretical views; (...)
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  37. Alfred Nordmann (1992). Darwinians at War Bateson's Place in Histories of Darwinism. Synthese 91 (1-2):53 - 72.
    The controversy between Biometricians and Mendelians has been called an inexplicable embarrassment since it revolved around the mistaken identification of Mendelian genetics with non-Darwinian saltationism, a mistake traced back to the non-Darwinian William Bateson, who introduced Mendelian analysis to British science. The following paper beings to unravel this standard account of the controversy by raising a simple question: Given that Bateson embraced evolution by natural selection and that he studied the causes of variation within a broadly Darwinian framework of problems (...)
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  38. Alfred Nordmann (1990). Goodbye and Farewell: Siegel Vs. Feyerabend. Inquiry 33 (3):317 – 331.
    In his review (Inquiry 32 [1989], pp. 343?69) of Paul Feyerabend's Farewell to Reason, Harvey Siegel makes a fairly simple point: Feyerabend provides a bad argument for a good cause. In particular, Siegel maintains that the argument suffers, first, from self?inflicted depreciation: having been rendered impotent by Feyerabend's views of objectivity and rationality, what claim to persuasion can his argument possibly hold? And second, the argument is said to be incoherent: instead of respecting and leaving alone diverse cultures and traditions (...)
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  39. Alfred Nordmann (1990). Ideas for a Philosophy of Nature as Introduction to the Study of This Science. History of European Ideas 12 (4):566-568.
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  40. Alfred Nordmann (1990). Persistent Propensities: Portrait of a Familiar Controversy. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 5 (4):379-399.
    Susan Mills and John Beatty's propensity interpretation of fitness encountered very different philosophical criticisms by Alexander Rosenberg and Kenneth Waters. These criticisms and the rejoinders to them are both predictable and important. They are predictable as raisingkinds of issues typically associated with disposition concepts (this is established through a systematic review of the problems generated by Carnap's dispositional interpretation of all scientific terms). They are important as referring the resolution of these issues to the development of evolutionary biology. This historical (...)
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  41. Alfred Nordmann (1986). Comparing Incommensurable Theories. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 17 (2):231-246.