History of Knowledge Seminar Series: Henning Schmigden (Bauhaus-Unversitär Weimar) on Experimental Knowledge
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Modern knowledge is committed to experimentation. At the latest with Robert Hooke, it turns away from the older forms of deduction and exegesis in order to turn to a practice of research that not only depicts and represents nature, but at the same time intervenes in it – both on the side of the object and on that of the subject. According to Hooke, it is especially the use of instruments, “as it were the adding of artificial organs to the natural,” that is characteristic for the subject of experimental knowledge. The lecture develops this idea by discussing the pioneering experiments Hermann von Helmholtz conducted between 1850 and 1870 on the psychophysiology of the time. Special attention is given to the recent hypothesis of the “extended mind” (Clark, Chalmers, etc.), which seems suitable to discuss the specific character and status of experimental knowledge.
Henning Schmidgen is a professor of media studies and the history of science at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. He is also an expert in historical epistemology, philosophy of technology, and machine aesthetics and has published multiple books on these topics, including Horn, or The Counterside of Media (2022) and The Helmholtz Curves: Tracing Lost Time (2014).
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