|Author(s)||Dušan I. Bjelić|
|Title||Galileo's Pendulum: Science, Sexuality and the Body-Instrument Link|
|Tag(s)||EMCA, Sexuality, Philosophy of Science, Measurement|
|Publisher||State University of New York Press|
Examines the history of science in light of recent theories of sexuality and the body.
Drawing on the theories of Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, and others who have written on the history of sexuality and the body, Galileo's Pendulum explores how the emergence of the scientific method in the seventeenth century led to a de-emphasis on the body and sexuality. The first half of the book focuses on the historical modeling of the relation between pleasure and knowledge by examining a history of scientific rationality and its relation to the formation of the modern scientist's subjectivity. Relying on Foucault's history of sexuality, the author hypothesizes that Galileo's pendulum, as an extension of mathematics and the body, must have been sexualized by schemes of historical representation to the same extent that such schemes were rationalized by Galileo. The second half of the book explores the problems of scientific methodology and attempts to return the body in an explicit way to scientific practice. Ultimately, Galileo's Pendulum offers a discursive method and praxis for resexualizing the history of Galilean science.
". . .a highly imaginative—and yet exquisitely material—investigation of the embodied practice of demonstrating 'Galilean' science. ...[I]t should be possible to read this book not only as a source of information, but also as an installation that facilitates an unusually direct, material engagement with foundational issues in the history, philosophy, and sociology of physical science." — from the Foreword by Michael Lynch
"Intriguing and original, this book makes important contributions to current debates about the sociology of knowledge and the history and philosophy of science in the seventeenth century, offering some astute observations about the problems of hands-on experimentation. The author's approach to recreating Galilean experiments will appeal to historians and philosophers of science, interdisciplinary critics in the cultural study of science, and scientists themselves." — Robert Markley, author of Fallen Languages: Crises of Representation in Newtonian England, 1660–1740