Posts by Mark Brown
I’m on the train leaving Arc-et-Senans, heading back to Paris to fly home .... There is certainly a lot to read and do and talk about. Among other topics, the IHEST affiliates are deeply involved with questions of public involvement in sociotechnical controversies, even more than I expected.
Intellectual pyrotechnics before 10 a.m. isn’t for everyone, but I thought it was an excellent way to start this third day at the IHEST summer school on science and public debate. Is there such a thing as the public? Well, think of God, said the morning’s first speaker.
The notion of speech designates "not someone who was speaking about a mute thing, but an impediment, a difficulty, a gamut of possible positions, a profound uncertainty." Neither humans nor nonhumans "speak on their own," as traditional epistemology suggests, but only through various mediators.
Until fairly recently, many considered technocracy as much a part of French culture as pan au chocolat and café au lait. I had one each of the latter at the train station in Paris this morning, on my way to the Saline Royale, in the countryside between Dijon and Lausanne.... The first talk this afternoon, by Jacques Bouveresse, a philosophy of science professor at the prestigious College de France, consisted of an extended discussion of Bertrand Russell’s views on science and democracy.
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