Complexities

Author: John Law
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822383551
Format: PDF
Download Now
Although much recent social science and humanities work has been a revolt against simplification, this volume explores the contrast between simplicity and complexity to reveal that this dichotomy, itself, is too simplistic. John Law and Annemarie Mol have gathered a distinguished panel of contributors to offer—particularly within the field of science studies—approaches to a theory of complexity, and at the same time a theoretical introduction to the topic. Indeed, they examine not only ways of relating to complexity but complexity in practice. Individual essays study complexity from a variety of perspectives, addressing market behavior, medical interventions, aeronautical design, the governing of supranational states, ecology, roadbuilding, meteorology, the science of complexity itself, and the psychology of childhood trauma. Other topics include complex wholes (holism) in the sciences, moral complexity in seemingly amoral endeavors, and issues relating to the protection of African elephants. With a focus on such concepts as multiplicity, partial connections, and ebbs and flows, the collection includes narratives from Kenya, Great Britain, Papua New Guinea, the Netherlands, France, and the meetings of the European Commission, written by anthropologists, economists, philosophers, psychologists, sociologists, and scholars of science, technology, and society. Contributors. Andrew Barry, Steven D. Brown, Michel Callon, Chunglin Kwa, John Law, Nick Lee, Annemarie Mol, Marilyn Strathern, Laurent Thévenot, Charis Thompson

The Body Multiple

Author: Annemarie Mol
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822384159
Format: PDF
Download Now
The Body Multiple is an extraordinary ethnography of an ordinary disease. Drawing on fieldwork in a Dutch university hospital, Annemarie Mol looks at the day-to-day diagnosis and treatment of atherosclerosis. A patient information leaflet might describe atherosclerosis as the gradual obstruction of the arteries, but in hospital practice this one medical condition appears to be many other things. From one moment, place, apparatus, specialty, or treatment, to the next, a slightly different “atherosclerosis” is being discussed, measured, observed, or stripped away. This multiplicity does not imply fragmentation; instead, the disease is made to cohere through a range of tactics including transporting forms and files, making images, holding case conferences, and conducting doctor-patient conversations. The Body Multiple juxtaposes two distinct texts. Alongside Mol’s analysis of her ethnographic material—interviews with doctors and patients and observations of medical examinations, consultations, and operations—runs a parallel text in which she reflects on the relevant literature. Mol draws on medical anthropology, sociology, feminist theory, philosophy, and science and technology studies to reframe such issues as the disease-illness distinction, subject-object relations, boundaries, difference, situatedness, and ontology. In dialogue with one another, Mol’s two texts meditate on the multiplicity of reality-in-practice. Presenting philosophical reflections on the body and medical practice through vivid storytelling, The Body Multiple will be important to those in medical anthropology, philosophy, and the social study of science, technology, and medicine.

Cultural Science

Author: John Hartley
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1849666032
Format: PDF, Kindle
Download Now
Cultural Science introduces a new way of thinking about culture. Adopting an evolutionary and systems approach, the authors argue that culture is the population-wide source of newness and innovation; it faces the future, not the past. Its chief characteristic is the formation of groups or 'demes' (organised and productive subpopulation; 'demos'). Demes are the means for creating, distributing and growing knowledge. However, such groups are competitive and knowledge-systems are adversarial. Starting from a rereading of Darwinian evolutionary theory, the book utilises multidisciplinary resources: Raymond Williams's 'culture is ordinary' approach; evolutionary science (e.g. Mark Pagel and Herbert Gintis); semiotics (Yuri Lotman); and economic theory (from Schumpeter to McCloskey). Successive chapters argue that: -Culture and knowledge need to be understood from an externalist ('linked brains') perspective, rather than through the lens of individual behaviour; -Demes are created by culture, especially storytelling, which in turn constitutes both politics and economics; -The clash of systems - including demes - is productive of newness, meaningfulness and successful reproduction of culture; -Contemporary urban culture and citizenship can best be explained by investigating how culture is used, and how newness and innovation emerge from unstable and contested boundaries between different meaning systems; -The evolution of culture is a process of technologically enabled 'demic concentration' of knowledge, across overlapping meaning-systems or semiospheres; a process where the number of demes accessible to any individual has increased at an accelerating rate, resulting in new problems of scale and coordination for cultural science to address. The book argues for interdisciplinary 'consilience', linking evolutionary and complexity theory in the natural sciences, economics and anthropology in the social sciences, and cultural, communication and media studies in the humanities and creative arts. It describes what is needed for a new 'modern synthesis' for the cultural sciences. It combines analytical and historical methods, to provide a framework for a general reconceptualisation of the theory of culture ? one that is focused not on its political or customary aspects but rather its evolutionary significance as a generator of newness and innovation.

Ubiquitous Computing Complexity and Culture

Author: Ulrik Ekman
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317704576
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
Download Now
The ubiquitous nature of mobile and pervasive computing has begun to reshape and complicate our notions of space, time, and identity. In this collection, over thirty internationally recognized contributors reflect on ubiquitous computing’s implications for the ways in which we interact with our environments, experience time, and develop identities individually and socially. Interviews with working media artists lend further perspectives on these cultural transformations. Drawing on cultural theory, new media art studies, human-computer interaction theory, and software studies, this cutting-edge book critically unpacks the complex ubiquity-effects confronting us every day. The companion website can be found here: http://ubiquity.dk

Cultures without Culturalism

Author: Karine Chemla
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822373092
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
Download Now
Cultural accounts of scientific ideas and practices have increasingly come to be welcomed as a corrective to previous—and still widely held—theories of scientific knowledge and practices as universal. The editors caution, however, against the temptation to overgeneralize the work of culture, and to lapse into a kind of essentialism that flattens the range and variety of scientific work. The book refers to this tendency as culturalism. The contributors to the volume model a new path where historicized and cultural accounts of scientific practice retain their specificity and complexity without falling into the traps of culturalism. They examine, among other issues, the potential of using notions of culture to study behavior in financial markets; the ideology, organization, and practice of earthquake monitoring and prediction during China's Cultural Revolution; the history of quadratic equations in China; and how studying the "glass ceiling" and employment discrimination became accepted in the social sciences. Demonstrating the need to understand the work of culture as a fluid and dynamic process that directly both shapes and is shaped by scientific practice, Cultures without Culturalism makes an important intervention in science studies. Contributors. Bruno Belhoste, Karine Chemla, Caroline Ehrhardt, Fa-ti Fan,Kenji Ito, Evelyn Fox Keller, Guillaume Lachenal, Donald MacKenzie, Mary S. Morgan, Nancy J. Nersessian, David Rabouin, Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, Claude Rosental, Koen Vermeir

Science Technology and the Ageing Society

Author: Tiago Moreira
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 131760220X
Format: PDF
Download Now
Ageing is widely recognised as one of the social and economic challenges in the contemporary, globalised world, for which scientific, technological and medical solutions are continuously sought. This book proposes that science and technology also played a crucial role in the creation and transformation of the ageing society itself. Drawing on existing work on science, technology and ageing in sociology, anthropology, history of science, geography and social gerontology, Science, Technology and the Ageing Society explores the complex, interweaving relationship between expertise, scientific and technological standards and social, normatively embedded age identities. Through a series of case studies focusing on older people, science and technology, medical research about ageing and ageing-related illnesses, and the role of expertise in the management of ageing populations, Moreira challenges the idea that aging is a problem for the individual and society. Tracing the epistemic and technological infrastructures that underpin multiple of ways of aging, this timely volume is a crucial tool for undergraduate and graduate students interested in social gerontology, health and social care, sociology of aging, science and technology studies and medical sociology.

Complexity Theory and the Social Sciences

Author: David Byrne
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134714734
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
Chaos and complexity are the new buzz words in both science and contemporary society. The ideas they represent have enormous implications for the way we understand and engage with the world. Complexity Theory and the Social Sciences introduces students to the central ideas which surround the chaos/complexity theories. It discusses key concepts before using them as a way of investigating the nature of social research. By applying them to such familiar topics as urban studies, education and health, David Byrne allows readers new to the subject to appreciate the contribution which complexity theory can make to social research and to illuminating the crucial social issues of our day.

Aircraft Stories

Author: John Law
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822383543
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
Download Now
In Aircraft Stories noted sociologist of technoscience John Law tells “stories” about a British attempt to build a military aircraft—the TSR2. The intertwining of these stories demonstrates the ways in which particular technological projects can be understood in a world of complex contexts. Law works to upset the binary between the modernist concept of knowledge, subjects, and objects as having centered and concrete essences and the postmodernist notion that all is fragmented and centerless. The structure and content of Aircraft Stories reflect Law’s contention that knowledge, subjects, and—particularly— objects are “fractionally coherent”: that is, they are drawn together without necessarily being centered. In studying the process of this particular aircraft’s design, construction, and eventual cancellation, Law develops a range of metaphors to describe both its fractional character and the ways its various aspects interact with each other. Offering numerous insights into the way we theorize the working of systems, he explores the overlaps between singularity and multiplicity and reveals rich new meaning in such concepts as oscillation, interference, fractionality, and rhizomatic networks. The methodology and insights of Aircraft Stories will be invaluable to students in science and technology studies and will engage others who are interested in the ways that contemporary paradigms have limited our ability to see objects in their true complexity.

Scandalous Knowledge

Author: Barbara Herrnstein Smith
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822338482
Format: PDF
Download Now
Argues that "postmodern relativism" (and related critiques of science studies) is a thoroughly straw construction and that attacks on it have often turned into demands for dogmatism.

Philosophy of Complex Systems

Author:
Publisher: Elsevier
ISBN: 9780080931227
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
Download Now
The domain of nonlinear dynamical systems and its mathematical underpinnings has been developing exponentially for a century, the last 35 years seeing an outpouring of new ideas and applications and a concomitant confluence with ideas of complex systems and their applications from irreversible thermodynamics. A few examples are in meteorology, ecological dynamics, and social and economic dynamics. These new ideas have profound implications for our understanding and practice in domains involving complexity, predictability and determinism, equilibrium, control, planning, individuality, responsibility and so on. Our intention is to draw together in this volume, we believe for the first time, a comprehensive picture of the manifold philosophically interesting impacts of recent developments in understanding nonlinear systems and the unique aspects of their complexity. The book will focus specifically on the philosophical concepts, principles, judgments and problems distinctly raised by work in the domain of complex nonlinear dynamical systems, especially in recent years. -Comprehensive coverage of all main theories in the philosophy of Complex Systems -Clearly written expositions of fundamental ideas and concepts -Definitive discussions by leading researchers in the field -Summaries of leading-edge research in related fields are also included