Examining the Structured Uses of Concepts as Tools: Converging Insights.
Examining the historical development of scientific concepts is important for understanding the structured routines within which these concepts are currently used as goal-directed tools in experiments. To illustrate this, I outline how the concepts of mental imagery and hallucinations each draw on an older interdependent set of associations that, although nominally discarded, continues to structure their current independent uses for pursuing discrete experimental goals. In doing so, I highlight how three strands of literature offer mutually instructive insights into how the uses of current scientific concepts contribute to experimental practices. The first strand of literature includes recent scholarship examining how the uses of scientific concepts can enable scientific practices (e.g., Boon 2012, Brigandt 2012, Feest 2010, Steinle 2012), the second strand comes from the technoscientific studies focused on non-human agency (Pickering 1995), and the third draws attention to how the functions of concepts are grounded by the set of historically contingent experimental practices (e.g., Canguilhem 2008, Tiles 1984).
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