Instruments as Playthings: An Alternative Methodology for the Study of Scientific Artefacts

Teorie Vědy / Theory of Science 35 (2):197-226 (2013)
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This article proposes that thinking of scientific instruments as playthings or philosophical toys offers a method for looking at the ways in which we learn from made things and from the act of making in investigating the world. Rather than approaching artefacts as stable ob- jects, definable and categorisable in terms of their function, this method puts forward the instability and mobility of artefacts on several levels: in terms of their movements between hands, social contexts and systems of knowledge, in terms of their physical articulations and of their changing functions, and in terms of the flows and processes of materials at work within and through them.
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Archival date: 2019-04-18
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