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By Hans-Jörg Rheinberger

Epistemology, as commonly understood via philosophers of technological know-how, is quite distant from the heritage of technology and from old matters generally. Rheinberger indicates that, from the overdue 19th during the past due 20th century, a parallel, substitute discourse sought to come back to phrases with the particularly primary event of the thoroughgoing clinical alterations as a result of the revolution in physics. Philosophers of technology and historians of technological know-how alike contributed their percentage to what this essay describes as an ongoing quest to historicize epistemology. old epistemology, during this experience, isn't so all in favour of the realizing topic and its psychological capacities. really, it envisages technological know-how as an ongoing cultural recreation and attempts to evaluate the stipulations less than which the sciences in all their variety take form and alter over time.

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With this demand, Fleck—himself both observer and participant in laboratory life—largely anticipated the sociology of the laboratory that would develop only in the last decades of the twentieth century. Like Bachelard, Fleck was also concerned with the epistemological shocks brought about by quantum physics, in particular the question of the interaction between observer and observed, as it presented itself, according to Bohr, in the observation of atomic phenomena. Fleck, who in his essay explicitly and specifically referred to Bohr, understood an interaction of this kind as constitutive of knowledge in general.

Different microrationalities are developed around these particular entities, which may be marked by quite different sets of problems and surrounding material conditions, and which each have their own epistemological awkwardness. According to Bachelard, however, philosophy of science must accept these details if it is to raise itself to the level Between the Wars —I  of the sciences of its time. 17 Every significant complex of problems, every more or less fruitful experimental arrangement, every equation even, demands its own philosophical reflection.

It is counter­intuitive and so is not confirmed by the evidence of direct observation. ”4 The constitution of modern scientific thought is mediated by instruments. An epistemological break and an epistemological obstacle are always related. They characterize not simply the transition from everyday experience to scientific experience, but they are of lasting actuality also for the further development of the sciences. Any discovery that is genuinely new proves to be a break with what was previously scientifically given; it is realized in polemical form.

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