CFP: Embodied Knowledge and Bodies of Knowledge

Embodied knowledge is a theme that has recently generated much discussion in the humanistic study of science, medicine, and technology. In response to accounts of science that focus on science as the product of minds and ideas, historians, philosophers, and sociologists of science have started focusing on the role that the body and material practices play in producing, transmitting, and acquiring knowledge. Examining the embodied practices of those involved in scientific research has allowed science studies scholars to paint a rich portrait of the processes involved in knowledge production. Attention to bodies and to material practices has been a way for historians and sociologists to uncover the social and cultural history of science, and for philosophers to explore the epistemology of experimental practice. Although this is an interesting and welcome turn, the concept of “embodied knowledge” itself has not received much direct scrutiny and raises a series of questions:

  • What are the relations between embodied knowledge and propositional knowledge?
  • Can certain kinds of knowledge be transmitted only through embodied practices?
  • Is embodied knowledge distinct from tacit knowledge? Are they the same?
  • Can embodied knowledge reside in non-human objects?
  • What is the relationship between theory, experimentation, and the embodied knowledge possessed by scientists?
  • How and when does the embodied knowledge of scientists constitute expertise?

On August 15th, 2008 HAPSAT (the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology’s Graduate Student Society at the University of Toronto) will host its fourth annual one-day conference.

We invite graduate students to submit paper and panel proposals that critically engage with this theme or with any other theme related to the history and philosophy of science, medicine, and technology. For papers please email abstracts of up to 250 words to by **Monday, May 19, 2008** and for panels please email a document with a 250 word abstract describing the panel as a whole and individual abstracts for each paper (also 250 words). Each presenter will be given 20 minutes.

The Keynote Speaker for this year is Dr. Paul Thagard who will be giving a lecture titled “Bodies, Brains, Feelings, and Causes: How Embodiment Meets Representation in Neural Theories of Emotion and Causality.”

Please distribute freely.


~ by sebabisan on February 5, 2008.

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