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Shaping biomedical objects across history and philosophy: A conversation with Hans-Jörg Rheinberger

Garcia-Sancho, M   González-Silva, M   Santesmases, MJ

Dynamis : Acta Hispanica ad Medicinae Scientiarumque Historiam Illustrandam   34 (1) 193-209

DOI: 10.4321/S0211-95362014000100010

February 2014

Historical epistemology, according to the historian of science Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, is a space through which «to take experimental laboratory work into the realm of philosophy». This key concept, together with the crucial events and challenges of his career, were discussed in a public conversation which took place on the occasion of Rheinberger’s retirement. By making sense of natural phenomena in the laboratory, the act of experimenting shapes the object; it is this shaping which became the core of Rheinberger’s own research across biology and philosophy into history. For his intellectual agenda, a history of the life sciences so constructed
became «epistemologically demanding».