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Leonardo Reviews 227 attractors, unpredictability and complexity also appeared to migrate from science to art. One example in the field of music research was “Non-Linear Timbres and Perceptual Instability,” in which the composer looked for nonperiodic , non-linear computer-generated timbres, which resembled static sounds. The subsequent round-table discussion, “Sonic Interactions,” analyzed musical improvisation as a creative exercise in which various global and local agents interact to produce a soundscape that may re-orient senses and meanings. The question had four different aspects: (a) sonic interaction related to visual representation; (b) sound as a generative art source; (c) how sonic interaction affects perception and meaning in public and (d) improvisation as a survival strategy. Thought, connection, interaction and sound were also part of the project “Infobodies—Unfolding and Potentialities ,” made by a group of artists who, as an interconnected, expanded body, collected texts and fragments of all the presentations, conversations and impressions of more than 100 participants in the event and recomposed them as a visual and sound poem as a concluding presentation. After this, one member of the committee expected some closing words, but the audience was surprised and delighted by the re-presentation of a performance by Brazilian artist Otávio Donasci of one of his videocreatures from the 1980s. JOURNAL PERSPECTIVES ON SCIENCE: HISTORICAL, PHILOSOPHICAL, SOCIAL Vol. 6, No. 3 (Fall 1998). Edited by Joseph C. Pitt. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, U.S.A. ISSN: 1063-6145. Reviewed by David Topper, Department of History, University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, MB, R3B 2E9, Canada. E-mail: . This relatively new journal (published quarterly) is, as its subtitle suggests, an attempt to bring together three sometimes -conflicting approaches to the study of science: history of science, philosophy of science and sociology of science . A look at the various editors shows a range of scholars, not only across these three disciplines but, more importantly, spanning some of the present-day ideologies and methodologies . One would think, therefore, that the journal would cater to articles covering a broad range of material rather than specialized topics found in most scholarly journals. But the present volume , at least, does not quite reveal such an approach. Perspectives on Science contains three articles and a review essay. The first article is “Studying the Study of Science Scientifically,” by David Hull, the wellknown philosopher and historian of biology . About 30 years ago, as I was finishing my graduate work, I began teaching courses in, among other things, the history of science. I read voraciously on the then-current debate about science, which was precipitated primarily by Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962)—a work that used historical evidence to challenge conventional philosophy of science. Philosophers of science were on the defensive and quite vexed by Kuhn’s denigration of the empirical content of science when viewed historically . Of the mass of material I read, one idea remains vivid after all these years: the argument that the conflict seems to boil down to a question regarding whether we are to believe the empirical content of “science” or “history .” For, why should we believe the empirical evidence collected by Kuhn in his reading of the history of science, if he indeed questions the empirical nature of science itself; that is, why should historical methodology be superior to scientific methodology? I was reminded of this when reading Hull’s article. Hull discusses three cases of attempts to empirically test theories about science, scientists and scientific change. The backdrop to Hull’s argument is the present so-called “Science Wars”—which are, in this case, debates between scientists and mainly sociologists (and some historians) of science. As a historian, Hull is certainly sensitive to the complexity of history and the fact that the empirical factor in science is not as simple and straightforward as science textbooks often assert; yet he has little patience with the extreme position of many “relativists” who expound “science studies.” In fact, he agrees with some scientists that the field of “science studies” constitutes a threat to science. Moreover, he asserts that the relativist position is illogical; as he says, “something is desperately wrong with presenting [historical] evidence to show how irrelevant [empirical...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1530-9282
Print ISSN
0024-094X
Pages
p. 227
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-04
Open Access
No
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