Alliances between Styles: A New Model for the Interaction between Science and Technology

The idea of alliances between technology and a scientific style recognizes the specificity of technology as a style in its own right, but at the same time it goes against the claim that technology is ‘autonomous’, at least in very many cases of
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   Alliances between Styles: A New Model for the Interaction Between Science and TechnologyIn:  Alfred Nordmann, Hans Radder and Gregor Schiemann eds!, Science Transformed?: Debating Claims of an Epochal Break,  "ni#ersity of $ittsb%rgh $ress, $ittsb%rgh, $a&, '()), **& )(+))+& -h%nglin .wa"ni#ersity of Amsterdam c&l&/wa0%#a&nl Biotechnology and nanotechnology ha#e a1%ired, or almost ac1%ired, a *aradigm stat%s of what science is today& Science is technoscience now and *hiloso*hers of science are catching %* withthe recent stat%s of technology #isa#is science& 2or better or for worse, the %ni#ersity is no longer the home of *%re science& 3If *%re science e#er e4isted5, many wo%ld assert& B%t as $a%l 2orman reminded %s, before )67( neither scientists nor engineers, neither *hiloso*hers nor historians of science, and *oliticians the least of all, do%bted the c%lt%ral *rimacy of science o#er technology& )  If the c%lt%ral *rimacy of science was a myth, it was a myth with real conse1%ences, not 8%st in the '(th -ent%ry, b%t in the early )9th -ent%ry as well& At the #ery least, it contrib%ted to forge a social relationshi* between science and technology, when Baconian science rallied with technology to im*ro#e %*on h%man earthly e4istence& 2or this, it was eno%gh that science sho%ld be %sef%l, andthis idea is older than that science sho%ld lead to technological inno#ation& The #ery e4istence of a relationshi* between science and technology is of more im*ortance than the 1%estion to which )  $a%l 2orman, 3The $rimacy of Science in Modernity, of Technology in $ostmodernity, and of Ideology in the History of Technology5,  History and Technology   ' '((9!, )  belongs *rimacy, e#ery answer to which is always a re;ection of thec%lt%ral standards of the age& $rimacy has been ta/en to mean *riority in disco#ery b%t this it is not& The latter is an em*irical, historical 1%estion to which no generali<able answer can be gi#en& The once *o*%lar 3linear model5 of *%re science leading to a**lied science leading to technology has 8%stly been e4*osed not 8%st as a myth b%t as wrong& It has ne#er been tr%e, b%t neither is or was its o**osite& It is an e4traordinary social fact that technology now en8oys c%lt%ral *rimacy o#er science& =hile this may ha#e sensiti<ed%s to generally acce*ted e4am*les of science de#elo*ing o%t of a re;ection on technology, and led %s to the ac/nowledgment of the *rimacy of technology in se#eral cases, this model is not generali<able either& There is also a 3model5 of the sciencetechnology relationshi* which sim*ly denies that there is one& The idea of the a%tonomy of technology #isa#is science, has been defended by a n%mber of historians of technology, most recently by Thomas Misa& '  The mere fact that a good history of technology can be written witho%t reference to science is telling& >et, it co%ld not say more than that the a%tonomy is relati#e and that there are analytical distinctions tobe made between science and technology& A s%btle, yet *er#asi#e m%t%al in;%ence of science and technology in the )9th and )7th -ent%ry has recently been demonstrated in The Mindfl Hand , a collection of essays&   The historians in this #ol%me ac/nowledge a social distinction between nat%ral *hiloso*hers and artisans, yet they also identify intermediaries, thro%gh whom s/ills and conce*ts were e4changed& Rich as their historical treatment is, from a systematic *oint of #iew, the a%thors seem to do little more than  #indicating ?dgar @ilsel, who arg%ed in )6' that nat%ral *hiloso*hers recei#ed their e4*erimental s/ills from artisans and artistsengineers& =hat nat%ral *hiloso*hers did with their newly ac1%ired s/ills remains o*en for in#estigation& B%t we co%ld also read The Mindfl Hand  as saying that in concrete historical cases, alliances are forged between the #ario%s forms of thin/ing and *ractice of science and technology& The model '  Thomas Misa,  !eonardo to the "nternet , ohns Ho*/ins "ni#ersity $ress, Baltimore, Md, '((&   Cissa Roberts, Simon SchaDer en $eter Eear eds&!, The Mindfl Hand: "n#iry and in$ention from the late %enaissance to early indstrialisation , .onin/li8/e Nederlandse  A/ademie #an =etenscha**en, Amsterdam, '((9& '  which I *ro*ose in this article is also a model of alliances, in which science and technology remain analytically distinct& B%t in addition it brea/s %* science into si4 forms, si4 styles of science, in the way they were Frst *ro*osed by Alistair -rombie in his )66 grand o#er#iew of the history of science, Styles of Scienti&c Thinking in the Eropean Tradition &   In a n%tshell, -rombie5s idea is as follows& In classical Greece, an idea of science was de#elo*ed which ina%g%rated a search for Frst *rinci*les& "ltimately, /nown *henomena sho%ld be deri#ed with certainty from the Frst *rinci*les, hence ded%cti#e science& E%ring the Renaissance, se#eral new styles of science de#elo*ed: the e4*erimental, the ta4onomical, and a new form of theoretical science which ded%ced from hy*otheses rather than from Frst *rinci*les: the analogicalhy*othetical style& The ded%cti#e style, while remaining in *lace as an ideal, was restricted in *ractice to a few areas of mainly mathematics and an steadily decreasing n%mber of to*ics in *hysics& E%ring the )6th -ent%ry, two f%rther styles came into being: the statistical and the historicale#ol%tionarystyle& -rombie obtained the n%mber of si4 ind%cti#ely, by historical in#estigation& There is no a *riori reason why there co%ld not be se#en or eight, and *erha*s there will be in the f%t%re& No style has as yet disa**eared& ?ach of the styles has bro%ght together, in -rombie5s words, 3conce*tions of the rational, the *ossible, the desirable, and the acce*table5& Ian Hac/ing obser#ed that each style is a 3rather timeless canon of ob8ecti#ity5&   ?ach style determines in its own waywhat 1%aliFes as tr%th& r falsity, as criteria for falsity are established along with criteria for tr%th, witho%t which a certain /ind of statement wo%ld not be recogni<ed as a candidate for being 3scientiFc5& +  =itho%t being e4ha%sti#e, logical certainty belongs to the criterion of tr%th of the ded%cti#e style, while the idea of reference of scientiFc conce*ts srcinated in the analogicalhy*othetical style&   A&-& -rombie, Styles of scienti&c thinking in the Eropean Tradition ,  #ols&, E%c/worth, Condon, )66&   Ian Hac/ing, 3StyleJ for Historians and $hiloso*hers5, Stdies in the History and  'hilosophy of Science  ' )66'!, )'( re*rinted in Hac/ing,  Historical (ntology  , Har#ard "ni#ersity $ress, '(('& +  Ian Hac/ing, 3Cang%age, Tr%th, and Reason5, in:  Historical (ntology  , Har#ard "ni#ersity $ress, '(((, **& )6)99 src& )67'!&    -rombie did not treat technology at all& f the si4 styles of science,he ga#e se*arate treatments, thereby demonstrating their comingintobeing as in a sense 3*%re5 styles, or at the #ery least the *ossibility to treat them as idealty*es& Nowhere did he *%t them in con8%nction& Altho%gh to -rombie5s credit it can be arg%ed that the styles remained analytically distinct, later history of science abo%nds with e4am*les of s%ch con8%nctions between styles& 9  In concrete cases, the tr%th criteria of two, sometimes three, styles can o*erate at the same time and interact, b%t in each historical case the way they do so has to be sol#ed ad hoc by the scientists who are in#ol#ed& The con8%nctions may therefore be seen as alliances, sometimes %neasy, sometimes more easygoing& An e4am*le of the latter is the alliance between the analogicalhy*othetical style and the e4*erimental style, an e4am*le of the former are the #ario%s ways in which statistical thin/ing is integrated into e4*erimental *ractice& If we trans*ose this idea of alliances between styles of science to the sciencetechnology relationshi*, we obtain in fact si4 theoretically *ossible #arieties, *erha*s more if we wo%ld allow for more styles of science to enter the e1%ation& At any rate, the way to thin/ of sciencetechnology relationshi*s becomes enormo%sly di#ersiFed&B%t we ha#e to Frst answer the 1%estion whether technology can betreated as style, on more or less e1%al footing as the si4 styles of science& Is there a single technological style, are there *erha*s styles, in *l%ralK Eistinctions s%ch as scienceis/nowing and technologyisdoing do not wor/, now that we /now that m%ch of science is doing, too, and that technology in#ol#es a good deal of /nowing only *art of which is deri#ed from science& The conce*t of style in fact brings together ways of /nowing and ways of doing& In the case of technology, it sho%ld be able to identify what its 3/nowledge5 as*ect is& ?%gene 2erg%son, in his  Engineering and the Mind)s Eye  )666! arg%ed *ers%asi#ely that design is the  technological style& 7  More *recisely: disegno , or the engineer5s drawing, by which a s*atial arrangement of wor/ing com*onents is achie#ed& Cinear 9  See also Hac/ing, 3Styles5& Hac/ing also s%ggests that styles combine as 3mi4t%res5 rather than as 3com*o%nds5, in which case there wo%ld be a new style& 7  ?%gene 2erg%son,  Engineering and the Mind)s Eye , -ambridge MA: MIT $ress, )66'&   *ers*ecti#e, chiaroscro  and the c%t away #iew were all Renaissance in#entions, greatly enhancing the e4*lanatory *ower of the drawing& The orthogra*hic *ro8ection was de#elo*ed by Gas*ar Monge and ames =att in the late )7th -ent%ry& The noteboo/s of Ceonardo da Linci and, among many other5s, Thomas ?dison5s threeh%ndred years later, show that thin/ing by drawing has become the engineers5 c%lt%rally entrenched habit& 2erg%son relates how from the late )6(s onwards, instr%ction in engineering drawing began to disa**ear from engineering schools, by a d%al eDort of re*lacing drawing by com*%ting and economi<ingon time s*ent on drawing& His own boo/ *layed its *art in restoring the balance toward the 3art5 as*ect of egineering& =e may also note that, com*ared to the )6+(s and )69(s, the com*%ter changed rolesand now enables #is%al thin/ing rather than s%**ressing it& High science, low science, and technology  The c%lt%ral shift of abo%t )67( is more com*licated than a shift from a *rimacy for science to a *rimacy for technology& The *ict%re of science itself changed, too& $rior to )67(, one style of science stood for science as a whole: either ded%cti#ist science or the analogicalhy*othetical style& ?rnest Nagel5s str%ct%re of science leaned toward the former& $o**er5s *ict%re of science was the latterwith strong ded%cti#e o#ertones, married to the e4*erimental style of science which stood in a com*letely ancillary relationshi* to theory& In .%hn5s hands, hy*othetical reasoning became more loosely b%ilt on analogies, shown to be 3world #iews5, and *ragmatically acce*ted as tools of disco#ery& The hegemony of ded%cti#ist science contrib%ted in no small *art to the de#elo*ment of the linear model: it *osited a logical relationshi* between science and technology& The *recedence in time of science o#er technology wo%ld be more or less necessarily tr%e on this acco%nt& technology was a logical deri#ati#e of science, either on an analogy between e4*eriment and a wor/ing technologyin $o**er5s #iew, if he wo%ld ha#e disc%ssed technology, which he did not!, or by s%bs%ming a wor/ing technology %nder a %ni#ersal theory on the model of the red%ction of e4*erimental laws to theory 


May 18, 2018
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