Revolutions in Science and Art: Martins, Bourdieu and the Case of Photography

  • Bridget Fowler
Part of the St Antony's Series book series (STANTS)


This chapter reflects on Martins’ powerful critique of Kuhn’s theory of scientific revolutions. It also compares Martins with the work of Bourdieu on science and art, arguing that despite the invaluable recent publication of Bourdieu’s lectures on Manet’s ‘symbolic revolution’, there are certain difficulties with Bourdieu’s theory of the cultural field. In particular, for Bourdieu, photography could never become any other than a minor art. In part because of its reliance on technology, it offers less cultural distinction than other more ‘legitimate’ forms of art. Martins, on the other hand, is less pessimistic: he sees art as continually transformed by technological change and therefore does not see the camera as presenting any inherent barrier.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bridget Fowler
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GlasgowGlasgowUK

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