By Barbara Herrnstein Smith, Arkady Plotnitsky
In a substantial introductory essay, the editors clarify the inspiration of "postclassical conception" and talk about the importance of rules akin to emergence and undecidability in present paintings in and on technology and arithmetic. different essays comprise a witty exam of the relatives between mathematical pondering, writing, and the applied sciences of digital truth; an essay that reconstructs the conceptual practices that resulted in an important mathematical discovery—or construction—in the nineteenth century; a dialogue of the consequences of Bohr’s complementarity precept for classical rules of truth; an exam of clinical laboratories as "hybrid" groups of people and nonhumans; an research of metaphors of keep an eye on, function, and necessity in modern biology; an exploration of fact and lies, and the play of phrases and numbers in Shakespeare, Frege, Wittgenstein, and Beckett; and a last bankruptcy on contemporary engagements, or nonengagements, among rationalist/realist philosophy of technological know-how and modern technological know-how studies.
Contributors. Malcolm Ashmore, Michel Callon, Owen Flanagan, John legislations, Susan Oyama, Andrew Pickering, Arkady Plotnitsky, Brian Rotman, Barbara Herrnstein Smith, John Vignaux Smyth, E. Roy Weintraub
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Extra resources for Mathematics, Science, and Postclassical Theory
Conceptual systems, then, hang together with specific, disciplined patterns of human agency, particular routinized ways of connecting marks and symbols with one another. Such disciplines - acquired in training and refined in use - carry human conceptual practices along, as it were, independently of individual wishes and intents. The scientist is, in this sense, passive in disciplined conceptual practice. This is a key point in what follows, and, in order to mark it and to symmetrize the formulation, I want to redescribe such human passivity in terms of a notion of disciplinary agency.
Discussions of tropes in the humanities have revealed that no simple or final solution to the "problem" of metaphor is possible; there is an always uneliminable reflexivity, since it proves impossible, in fact and in principle, to find a trope-free metalanguage in which to discuss tropes and so to explain metaphor in terms of something nonmetaphorical. For mathematics the price - if such it be - is the end of the foundational ambition, the desire to ground mathematics, once and for all, in something fixed, totally certain, timeless, and prelinguistic.
But once the Person is acknowledged as vital to the mathematical activities of making and proving assertions, it becomes impossible to see the MetaCode as a supplement to the Code, as a domain of mere psychological/motivational affect, to be jettisoned as soon as the real, proper, rigorous mathematics of the Code has been formulated. If we grant this, we are faced with a crucial difference operating within what are normally and uncritically called mathematical "symbols," a difference whose status is not only misperceived within the contemporary Platonistic program of rigor, but, beyond this, is treated within that program to a reductive alphabeticization.