Cloth $75.00 ISBN: 9780226668024 Published August 1995
Paper $27.50 ISBN: 9780226668031 Published August 1995
E-book $7.00 to $27.50 About E-books ISBN: 9780226668253 Published December 2010

The Mangle of Practice

Time, Agency, and Science

Andrew Pickering

The Mangle of Practice
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Andrew Pickering

296 pages | 11 halftones, 11 line drawings | 6 x 9 | © 1995
Cloth $75.00 ISBN: 9780226668024 Published August 1995
Paper $27.50 ISBN: 9780226668031 Published August 1995
E-book $7.00 to $27.50 About E-books ISBN: 9780226668253 Published December 2010
This ambitious book by one of the most original and provocative thinkers in science studies offers a sophisticated new understanding of the nature of scientific, mathematical, and engineering practice and the production of scientific knowledge.

Andrew Pickering offers a new approach to the unpredictable nature of change in science, taking into account the extraordinary number of factors—social, technological, conceptual, and natural—that interact to affect the creation of scientific knowledge. In his view, machines, instruments, facts, theories, conceptual and mathematical structures, disciplined practices, and human beings are in constantly shifting relationships with one another—"mangled" together in unforeseeable ways that are shaped by the contingencies of culture, time, and place.

Situating material as well as human agency in their larger cultural context, Pickering uses case studies to show how this picture of the open, changeable nature of science advances a richer understanding of scientific work both past and present. Pickering examines in detail the building of the bubble chamber in particle physics, the search for the quark, the construction of the quarternion system in mathematics, and the introduction of computer-controlled machine tools in industry. He uses these examples to address the most basic elements of scientific practice—the development of experimental apparatus, the production of facts, the development of theory, and the interrelation of machines and social organization.
Contents
Preface
1: The Mangle of Practice
2: Machines: Building the Bubble Chamber
3: Facts: The Hunting of the Quark
4: Concepts: Constructing Quaternions
5: Technology: Numerically Controlled Machine Tools
6: Living in the Material World
7: Through the Mangle
References
Index
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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