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Accueil > Publications > Ouvrages parus > Ouvrages des membres de SPHERE : 2015–... > Cultures without Culturalism : The Making of Scientific Knowledge

Cultures without Culturalism : The Making of Scientific Knowledge

Direction :
Karine Chemla, chercheure au laboratoire SPHERE (UMR 7219)
Evelyn Fox Keller, professeur émérite d’histoire et de philosophie des sciences au MIT

Contributeurs :
Bruno Belhoste, Caroline Ehrhardt, Fa-ti Fan, Donald MacKenzie, Mary S. Morgan, Nancy Nersessian, David Rabouin, Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, Claude Rosental,
Koen Vermeir

Cultural accounts of scientific ideas and practices have increasingly come to be welcomed as a corrective to previous—and still widely held—theories of scientific knowledge and practices as universal. The editors caution, however, against the temptation to overgeneralize the work of culture, and to lapse into a kind of essentialism that flattens the range and variety of scientific work. The book refers to this tendency as culturalism. The contributors to the volume model a new path where historicized and cultural accounts of scientific practice retain their specificity and complexity without falling into the traps of culturalism. They examine, among other issues, the potential of using notions of culture to study behavior in financial markets ; the ideology, organization, and practice of earthquake monitoring and prediction during China’s Cultural Revolution ; the history of quadratic equations in China ; and how studying the "glass ceiling" and employment discrimination became accepted in the social sciences. Demonstrating the need to understand the work of culture as a fluid and dynamic process that directly both shapes and is shaped by scientific practice, Cultures without Culturalism makes an important intervention in science studies.

"This rich collection’s stellar group of essays, framed by Karine Chemla and Evelyn Fox Keller’s authoritative introduction, will be of great interest to science studies and the history and philosophy of science as well as anthropologists and cultural historians working in those fields." — Judith Farquhar, author of, Appetites : Food and Sex in Post-Socialist China
“Cultures without Culturalism takes the critique of scientific universality and uniformity seriously. The collection provides elegant and rich resources for thinking about, through, and with scientific practice in many diverse times and places. It convinces us to examine the dynamics of scientific practice as they include and exclude what is studied, how it is studied, and who does the studying. The book makes a vibrant contribution to understanding how scientific cultures seep, share, coproduce, borrow, and ultimately mutate.” — Rayna Rapp, author of, Testing Women, Testing the Fetus : The Social Impact of Amniocentesis in America

: : Duke University Press, Durham and London
: : 2017
: : 424 pages, 26 illustrations
: : lccn 2016044201 (ebook)/ isbn 9780822363569 (hardcover : alk. paper)
: : isbn 9780822363729 (pbk. : alk. paper) / isbn 9780822373094 (e- book)

[Télécharger l’introduction]

Acknowledgments, p. xi

Introduction, p. 1
Karine Chemla and Evelyn Fox Keller


  • 1. On Invoking “Culture” in the Analysis of Behavior in Financial Markets, p.29
    Donald MacKenzie
  • 2. Cultural Difference and Sameness
    Historiographic Reflections on Histories of Physics in Modern Japan, p. 49
    Kenji Ito,
  • 3. The Cultural Politics of an African AIDS Vaccine
    The Vanhivax Controversy in Cameroon, 2001–2011, p. 69
    Guillaume Lachenal
  • 4. Worrying about Essentialism
    From Feminist Theory to Epistemological Cultures, p.99
    Evelyn Fox Keller


  • 5. Hybrid Devices
    Embodiments of Culture in Biomedical Engineering, p. 117
    Nancy J. Nersessian
  • 6. Glass Ceilings and Sticky Floors
    Drawing New Ontologies, p. 145
    Mary S. Morgan
  • 7. Modes of Exchange
    The Cultures and Politics of Public Demonstrations, p. 170
    Claude Rosental
  • 8. Styles in Mathematical Practice, p. 196
    David Rabouin


  • 9. Historicizing Culture
    A Revaluation of Early Modern Science and Culture, p. 227
    Koen Vermeir
  • 10. From Quarry to Paper
    Cuvier’s Three Epistemological Cultures, p. 250
    Bruno Belhoste
  • 11. Cultures of Experimentation, p. 278

    Hans- Jörg Rheinberger
  • 12. The People’s War against Earthquakes
    Cultures of Mass Science in Mao’s China, p. 296
    Fa-Ti Fan


  • 13. E Uno Plures ? Unity and Diversity in Galois Theory, 1832–1900, p. 327
    Caroline Ehrhardt
  • 14. Changing Mathematical Cultures, Conceptual History, and the Circulation of Knowledge
    A Case Study Based on Mathematical Sources from Ancient China, p. 352
    Karine Chemla

Contributors, p. 399

Index, p. 403