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Accueil > Axes de recherche > Interdisciplinarité en histoire et philosophie des sciences 2018-2022 > 5 Cultural and interdisciplinary history of techniques

Axis Interdisciplinarity in history and philosophy of science

5 Cultural and interdisciplinary history of techniques

Thematics / Seminars / Revue / Research Project / 2018–2022

This theme is explicitly developed as a transverse axis of SPHERE. The aim is to promote a reflection on the technical aspects, the instruments and the material cultures of the sciences studied in the other axes, and, in addition, to question the relations with the general techniques, the engineering and the technology. Through the various supported and structural collaborations (ICT, Center Koyré, CNAM, etc.), the theme also aims to be a place of inter-laboratory collaboration.
The theme brings together researchers who study historical overlaps between techniques and sciences in their cultural context, taking into account individual practices, material conditions, social and economic structures, and intellectual configurations. The term "technical" is understood in its broadest sense and covers technological objects, scientific instruments as well as technical actions and manipulations.
  • a. Experience of the techniques
    In a renewal of the historiography of techniques, we propose to pay particular attention to the experience. The interest of the techniques is not only in the artefacts or the "technologies", but is especially in the interface between the technical object and the subject. The theme emphasizes the arts of making and the sensitive experience, conceived as part of a process of intellection and construction of subjectivity, in the past as well as today. (See also the History and Philosophy of Medicine axis)
    The experience of the material culture of the techniques is central, for example in the practices of creation and constitution of the objects, the experimentation, as well as the practices of classification and restoration. It is the confrontation with the materiality of the artifacts that reveals the importance of gesture in research and in the transmission of knowledge. The materiality of things, their concrete and particular individuality, strongly determine technical systems and procedures, even if the relation between material objects and theoretical reasoning remains difficult to grasp. However, technical experience is not determined by materiality, and the imaginary of techniques plays an important role in experience and technical thinking. (P. Cassou-Nogues, J. Durand-Richard, L. Hilaire-Pérez, E. Vandendriessche, K. Vermeir)
    The technical experience also covers pedagogy, participation in technical practices, DIY and fablab movements, and the performativity of techniques. It is found in the experience of collections, exhibitions and technical shows. We are not only interested in practical and intellectual experience, but also in the emotional experience of techniques. Finally, the members of the theme aim to (re) create and (re) live the experience of the techniques, by the reconstitution (in collaboration with the fab-lab of Paris Diderot) and the ethnology of the techniques, and to develop these new methodologies by theorizing the importance of experience in the history and philosophy of techniques (L. Hilaire-Pérez, T. Crane, K. Vermeir, the "reconstruction" project started in 2016, see also theme 6.2 "practices") ).
  • b. Science, technology, technology
    The specificity of this theme is that it studies, interdisciplinary, the interactions between science, arts, crafts, technology and technology. First, the history of the concept "technology" (see the project "Technology, human science") shows the changing relationships between arts and sciences (L. Hilaire-Pérez, K. Vermeir). The technical modernity and the new role of the engineer in the 19th century have radically changed this relationship, and the members of the theme are particularly interested in the staggered views of science and scientific theories by engineers in the 19th and 20th centuries (O Darrigol, JP Llored, A. Moatti). Our interests extend to new technologies and techno-sciences of the 21st century, such as big data, robotics, artificial intelligence, nano- and biotechnologies (MJ Durand-Richard, JP Llored, A. Moatti ), but also body techniques, (bio) medical techniques and environmental risk management techniques (L. Candelise, AL Chabert, M. Katouzian-Safadi, G. Lachenal, JP Llored, K. Vermeir, and History and Philosophy of Medicine, see also a new seminar dedicated to the philosophy and history of chemistry studied as science and industry.) More generally, we will examine the relationship between techniques and modernity, and we study in particular the history of criticism and the exaltation of technical modernity (see for example the new seminar of A. Moatti "History of a criticism of technical modernity in France ")

These themes will bring out historiographical questions, also inspired by anthropology and the epistemology of science and technology, which will promote discussions with other themes, axes and laboratories.



Research Projects

Members / Thematics /

In Charge
Researchers - Phd Students - Post-docs
LLORED Jean-Pierre
MALET Antoni
MOATTI Alexandre