Article

Instruments in Science

Joseph Pitt and Steven Mischler

in Philosophy


Published online April 2015 | | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195396577.016.0266

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Historians of science and technology are well aware of the crucial role instruments play in their respective domains of study and the social implications of their use. Philosophers of science and technology have been slow to recognize their importance, primarily due to the influence of logical positivism with its emphasis on logical structure, ignoring the actual practice of science and completely side-stepping any questions surrounding technology. But as the strong arm of positivism has loosened its grip on philosophical inquiry and with the rise in awareness of the social and ethical implications of technological development, philosophers are slowly turning their attention to technological matters, if not to instruments per se. We hope to provide scholars with a sense of the range of issues instruments pose, if not the complete treatment by the totality of the international scholarly community that would extend beyond the limits set for us. Instruments raise a host of issues ranging over epistemological, metaphysical, ethical, social, economic, political, priority, and gender concerns. Instruments extend our natural abilities to interact with nature and as such touch every part of the human enterprise.

Article.  6545 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art ; Epistemology ; Feminist Philosophy ; History of Western Philosophy ; Metaphysics ; Moral Philosophy ; Non-Western Philosophy ; Philosophy of Language ; Philosophy of Law ; Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic ; Philosophy of Mind ; Philosophy of Religion ; Philosophy of Science ; Social and Political Philosophy

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