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Creatively UndecidedToward a History and Philosophy of Scientific Agency$
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Menachem Fisch

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226514482

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226514659.001.0001

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Toward a Narratology of Scientific Framework Transitions

Toward a Narratology of Scientific Framework Transitions

(p.100) Chapter Four Toward a Narratology of Scientific Framework Transitions
Creatively Undecided

Menachem Fisch

University of Chicago Press

Turning finally to science proper, the chapter sets itself the dual task (a) of discerning how science encounters external normative criticism, and (b) of explaining how its ambivalating effect can be proliferated within the community to effect a full-fledged framework transition. Peter Galison’s notion of the scientific trading zone is endorsed to explain how practitioners of standing become exposed to external normative criticism. All scientific disciplines trade, engaging members of other disciplines, funding agencies, university management, students, and more. What Galison misses is how in addition to presenting their science to others and trading for new techniques, apparatus, and funding, they are also often exposed to the potentially ambivalating promptings of friendly colleagues committed quite differently. Creative individuals can set a paradigm shift in motion, the chapter goes on to argue, when in attempting to resolve their ambivalence they produce novel yet painfully split accounts of their field, that prompt other practitioners of voice to take a firmer stand. Accounting for framework transitions hence requires going against the grain of standard historiography of science to locate the circumstances of personal ambivalating and the public impact of the impossibly undecided, yet creative works by which their ambivalence is unwittingly displayed.

Keywords:   external criticism, framework transitions, Peter Galison, scientific trading zone, ambivalence, creatively undecided

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