Instruments: Mental and Material (HAPSAT Graduate Student Conference)

On *Sunday April 25*, HAPSAT, the Graduate Student Society at the
Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science at Technology at the
University of Toronto, will host its sixth annual conference,
*Instruments: Mental and Material.*

Scientific instruments have emerged as a central theme in the history
and philosophy of science and in science and technology studies. In
*Leviathan and the Air Pump*, Shapin and Schaffer cite instruments,
together with writing style and modest witnessing, as the technologies
that enable the new scientific life. More recently, Galison’s *Image and
Logic *gives instrument makers equal standing with theorists and
experimentalists within the trading zones of scientific discovery. The
historiography of medicine has also explored how instruments played a
significant role in changing the diagnostic acumen of doctors and
revolutionizing concepts of disease. However, there is still a great
deal of work to be done in order to consider instruments as both a
serious subject of study, and a resource for historical investigation
and argumentation. Similarly, since Hacking’s seminal *Representing and
Intervening*, philosophers of science have acknowledged instruments as
being of central importance to the practice of science. They have become
a nexus for worries about empiricism and standards of evidence; Latour
(*Science in Action*) for instance, has argued that facts and artifacts
are constructed in the same way, while Davis Baird (*Thing Knowledge*)
argues that instruments contain knowledge of how to produce effects.

The keynote address will be given by *Jacalyn Duffin* (Queen’s
University): “Stethoscope: Technology and the Meaning of Life”

*Registration *is $10 for the conference, breakfast and lunch; $20 for the
conference, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The program includes sessions on Philosophy of Scientific Instrumentation, Representations and Instruments, Biological and Medical Instruments, and Integrating Objects into HPS. See