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The Mangle of Practice: Time, Agency, and Science [Paperback]

Andrew Pickering
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 15, 1995 0226668037 978-0226668031 1
This ambitious book by one of the most original and provocative thinkers in science studies offers a sophisticated new understanding of the nature of scientific, mathematical, and engineering practice and the production of scientific knowledge.

Andrew Pickering offers a new approach to the unpredictable nature of change in science, taking into account the extraordinary number of factors—social, technological, conceptual, and natural—that interact to affect the creation of scientific knowledge. In his view, machines, instruments, facts, theories, conceptual and mathematical structures, disciplined practices, and human beings are in constantly shifting relationships with one another—"mangled" together in unforeseeable ways that are shaped by the contingencies of culture, time, and place.

Situating material as well as human agency in their larger cultural context, Pickering uses case studies to show how this picture of the open, changeable nature of science advances a richer understanding of scientific work both past and present. Pickering examines in detail the building of the bubble chamber in particle physics, the search for the quark, the construction of the quarternion system in mathematics, and the introduction of computer-controlled machine tools in industry. He uses these examples to address the most basic elements of scientific practice—the development of experimental apparatus, the production of facts, the development of theory, and the interrelation of machines and social organization.

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The Mangle of Practice: Time, Agency, and Science + The Mangle in Practice: Science, Society, and Becoming (Science and Cultural Theory)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 1 edition (August 15, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226668037
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226668031
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #879,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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By Dabs
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This review is about the Kindle edition, not about the contents.
It is a bad scan that has not been proof-read at all. There are spaces everywhere where they don't belong, and as early as the second page of the preface, a couple of lines are missing, replaced by the word "PREFACE" (which I imagine is the page header from the scanned copy). I returned it after reading three pages. Do not buy.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile Science Review November 3, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Companion volume to "The Mangle in Practice: Science, Society, and Becoming" and equally worthwhile and well done. Recommended highly for specialists and the general reader.
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