Discussion

Journal for General Philosophy of Science

, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 365-383

Matters of Interest: The Objects of Research in Science and Technoscience

  • Bernadette Bensaude-VincentAffiliated withCentre d’Etudes des Techniques, des Connaissances et des Pratiques (CETCOPRA), Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
  • , Sacha LoeveAffiliated withCentre d’Etudes des Techniques, des Connaissances et des Pratiques (CETCOPRA), Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
  • , Alfred NordmannAffiliated withTechnische Universität Darmstadt
  • , Astrid SchwarzAffiliated withTechnische Universität Darmstadt Email author 

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Abstract

This discussion paper proposes that a meaningful distinction between science and technoscience can be found at the level of the objects of research. Both notions intermingle in the attitudes, intentions, programs and projects of researchers and research institutions—that is, on the side of the subjects of research. But the difference between science and technoscience becomes more explicit when research results are presented in particular settings and when the objects of research are exhibited for the specific interest they hold. When an experiment is presented as scientific evidence which confirms or disconfirms a hypothesis, this agrees with traditional conceptions of science. When organic molecules are presented for their capacity to serve individually as electric wires that carry surprisingly large currents, this would be a hallmark of technoscience. Accordingly, we propose research on the ontology of research objects. The focus on the character and significance of research objects makes this a specifically philosophical project.

Keywords

Ontology Research objects Technoscience Dispositions Affordances Philosophy of scientific experimentation