Aircraft Stories: Decentering the Object in Technoscience - Science and Cultural Theory (Paperback)John Law (author)
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Law works to upset the binary between the modernist concept of knowledge, subjects, and objects as having centered and concrete essences and the postmodernist notion that all is fragmented and centerless. The structure and content of Aircraft Stories reflect Law's contention that knowledge, subjects, and-particularly- objects are "fractionally coherent": that is, they are drawn together without necessarily being centered. In studying the process of this particular aircraft's design, construction, and eventual cancellation, Law develops a range of metaphors to describe both its fractional character and the ways its various aspects interact with each other. Offering numerous insights into the way we theorize the working of systems, he explores the overlaps between singularity and multiplicity and reveals rich new meaning in such concepts as oscillation, interference, fractionality, and rhizomatic networks.
The methodology and insights of Aircraft Stories will be invaluable to students in science and technology studies and will engage others who are interested in the ways that contemporary paradigms have limited our ability to see objects in their true complexity.
Publisher: Duke University Press
Number of pages: 264
Weight: 440 g
Dimensions: 235 x 155 x 20 mm
"What is a military aircraft? John Law shows in his beautiful analysis that it is a constant oscillation between multiplicity and singularity. It (sometimes) flies, it (possibly) drops nuclear bombs, it (certainly) reproduces a very conservative social order, it interpellates and entices young men, and yet it still remains a military aircraft. John Law invents what could be a monadology in which there is no longer preestablished harmony."-Michel Callon, CSI Ecole des mines de Paris
"[Law] writes well, sometimes almost poetically, with few of the tortured sentences of much cultural theory. Many readers may disagree with his theses, but few will fail to be stimulated by this brave, challenging book." -- Donald MacKenzie * American Journal of Sociology *
"Law's illustration of the singularity/multiplicity of artifacts (especially in the context of the many strands of social theory on which he draws) lends depth to any understanding of the social character of technology. His readers are invited, I think, to pull some of the more valuable jottings from his pinboard and interweave them in their own montages." -- Cyrus C. M. Mody * Contemporary Sociology *