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Title: Synthetic biology between technoscience and thing knowledge
Authors: Gelfert, A. 
Keywords: Synthetic biology
Thing knowledge technoscience model organisms
Issue Date: Jun-2013
Citation: Gelfert, A. (2013-06). Synthetic biology between technoscience and thing knowledge. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C :Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (2) : 141-149. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Synthetic biology presents a challenge to traditional accounts of biology: Whereas traditional biology emphasizes the evolvability, variability, and heterogeneity of living organisms, synthetic biology envisions a future of homogeneous, humanly engineered biological systems that may be combined in modular fashion. The present paper approaches this challenge from the perspective of the epistemology of technoscience. In particular, it is argued that synthetic-biological artifacts lend themselves to an analysis in terms of what has been called 'thing knowledge'. As such, they should neither be regarded as the simple outcome of applying theoretical knowledge and engineering principles to specific technological problems, nor should they be treated as mere sources of new evidence in the general pursuit of scientific understanding. Instead, synthetic-biological artifacts should be viewed as partly autonomous research objects which, qua their material-biological constitution, embody knowledge about the natural world-knowledge that, in turn, can be accessed via continuous experimental interrogation. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Source Title: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C :Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
ISSN: 13698486
DOI: 10.1016/j.shpsc.2013.03.009
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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