Plea for an Ecology of Savant Practices: A Brief Theoretical Venture

Recent developments in media studies have led philosophers to emphasise the role played by mediation in a broad sense, conceiving of a medium as what lies in between two alterities and that at once enables and constrains, materialises and shapes our perception, understanding, and manipulation of what there is. Although social scientists have long used this concept to study mass medias, and the transmission, circulation, and alteration of information, scholars in the history of science or anthropology of knowledge would benefit from reappraisals and new developments in the philosophy of technique understood as a medium. Indeed, the successive shifts undertaken by research programmes such as that on “places of knowledge” or, more recently, on “home-for-science” seem to us to betray a wider – yet unacknowledged – turn towards an understanding of science in medial terms. At the crossroad of the anthropology of knowledge, the sociology of science, and the philosophy of technique, we would like to further this turn. Consequently, we suggest replacing the geographical acceptation of places of knowledge with an ecological understanding of milieus. This acceptation calls for an ecology of savant practices redefined as the study of the media and the practices of re-enactment that allow for the crystallisation of things into objects of knowledge, and of milieus into places of knowledge. In this theoretical presentation, I will trace back the inspirations and influences of our endeavour before delineating a few working concepts that we would like to venture as a research programme. The latter still being in search of a proper structure, all arguers are welcome to debate with us after my colleagues have presented their case studies.

Published in:
Transcultural Knowledge. +st Young Scholars Conference. Paris, 10th-12th september 2019. Book of abstracts
Presented at:
Transcultural knowledge ESHS First Young Scholars Conference, Paris, France, September 10-12, 2019
Sep 12 2019
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 Record created 2019-09-27, last modified 2019-10-01

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