Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science

Tools and Modes of Representation in the Laboratory Sciences

Editors: Klein, U. (Ed.)

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About this book

constitutive of reference in laboratory sciences as cultural sign systems and their manipulation and superposition, collectively shared classifications and associated conceptual frameworks,· and various fonns of collective action and social institutions. This raises the question of how much modes of representation, and specific types of sign systems mobilized to construct them, contribute to reference. Semioticians have argued that sign systems are not merely passive media for expressing preconceived ideas but actively contribute to meaning. Sign systems are culturally loaded with meaning stemming from previous practical applications and social traditions of applications. In new local contexts of application they not only transfer stabilized meaning but also can be used as active resources to add new significance and modify previous meaning. This view is supported by several analyses presented in this volume. Sign systems can be implemented like tools that are manipulated and superposed with other types of signs to forge new representations. The mode of representation, made possible by applying and manipulating specific types of representational tools, such as diagrammatic rather than mathematical representations, or Berzelian fonnulas rather than verbal language, contributes to meaning and forges fine-grained differentiations between scientists' concepts. Taken together, the essays contained in this volume give us a multifaceted picture of the broad variety of modes of representation in nineteenth-century and twentieth-century laboratory sciences, of the way scientists juxtaposed and integrated various representations, and of their pragmatic use as tools in scientific and industrial practice.

Reviews

`I can recommend this book to those chemists who would like to catch up on what scholarship has transpired among historians and philosophers of science these past 20-30 years.'
Bulletin for the History of Chemistry, 28:2 (2003)

Table of contents (14 chapters)

  • Chemical Atomism and the Evolution of Chemical Theory in the Nineteenth Century

    Rocke, Alan J.

    Pages 1-11

  • The Creative Power of Paper Tools in Early Nineteenth-Century Chemistry

    Klein, Ursula

    Pages 13-34

  • An Early History of Alexander Crum Brown’s Graphical Formulas

    Ritter, Christopher

    Pages 35-46

  • Conventionalities in Formula Writing

    Laszlo, Pierre

    Pages 47-60

  • Paper Tools and Fictional Worlds: Prediction, Synthesis and Auxiliary Hypotheses in Chemistry

    Ramberg, Peter J.

    Pages 61-78

Buy this book

eBook $159.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-94-015-9737-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $209.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4020-0100-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $209.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-90-481-5859-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Tools and Modes of Representation in the Laboratory Sciences
Editors
  • U. Klein
Series Title
Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science
Series Volume
222
Copyright
2001
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
eBook ISBN
978-94-015-9737-1
DOI
10.1007/978-94-015-9737-1
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-4020-0100-0
Softcover ISBN
978-90-481-5859-1
Series ISSN
0068-0346
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVI, 264
Topics