Between Science and Literature: An Introduction to by Ira Livingston

By Ira Livingston

A shift in how we comprehend the area and ourselves, extra displacing the nature/culture divide as soon as so definitive for modernity

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Extra resources for Between Science and Literature: An Introduction to Autopoetics

Sample text

When I revisited Minnesota after moving away, I tried to hunt for agates in some of my favorite old gravel pits, but the owners, afraid of lawsuits, had all adopted a policy of chasing off agate pickers. Times had changed. Once, I showed my university ID and pretended to be a geologist. They gave me an hour in the pit, but the necessity of my little ruse had put the whole experience in another category, completely displacing the subtler charm of finding agates. indd 34 9/6/05 10:39:01 AM an introduc tory vigne t te .

Though phrased as a request for information, the question participates fully in—and in fact precipitates—the object of its inquiry; the meaning of the question is what it makes happen, and who or what is us (friends? lovers? ) hangs in the balance. It is clearly part of an experiment, a trial balloon, but neither the question nor any answer to it could possibly be disinterested, or, rather, it is clear that disinterestedness on the part of the questioner or respondent will also shape in very particular ways what is happening!

Kuhn’s exaggeration of the monolithic stability of paradigms melodramatizes the revolutionary sweep of their shift; this was the same song Foucault sang about epistemes (in other words, “the bigger they are, the harder they fall”). Most scholars seem now to agree that this is not a very good account of how things happen in science and that the fuzzy set of metaphors, practices, apparatuses, and institutions is yoked together in many ways but does not march in lockstep (see Galison). Philosopher Paul Feyerabend, who was especially grumpy about Kuhn and his followers, put it this way: “Whenever one tries to make his ideas more definite one finds that they are false.

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