Originally Posted by MatticusMania
Comment all you like, ask for opinions, share what youre reading, do what you like.
OOOOOOkay. Helpful. Like....whatever.
Gotta say, I'm not inclined to spend a lot of time discussing a book on a forum where the majority input has been pictures of dust jackets, but what the hell, let's give it a small effort and see what comes. Has some potential. So, let's start with a random sampling from the past few years.
'The Mangle of Practice: Time, Agency, and Science'. Andrew Pickering, 1995.
This book is about the epistemology and practice of science, and in particular, how the latter informs the former. It's starting point is Bruno Latour's Actor-Network theory. Pickering is going to try and show how a 'performative' understanding of science (how it is practiced) is different from a 'representational' understanding (how it is represented semiotically - semantics and syntactics). The analysis is really an applied version of pragmatism (yup, good old American pragmatism of the Rorty sort). Pickering contends that scientific practice involves a process of 'tuning dialectic' between material and human agency. Human and machine performance intertwines, 'mangles', to produce scientific understanding.
This book is a 'must read' for folks with an interest in epistemology or the philosophy of science. It requires some reasonable background knowledge - it's not an introductory work. But a lot that's been written on the epistemology of science since this book was published speaks either directly or indirectly to its contentions.
Recommended background reading: Richard Rorty, Donald Davidson, Bruno Latour, Tom Kent, John Law.
Difficulty: Not too bad if you've done a little bit of homework.
Pay-off: A very useful perspective on how scientific knowledge is manufactured. And that can't be a bad thing.