Objectivity: The Limits of Scientific Sight

Objectivity: The Limits of Scientific Sight - Peter L. Galison

Peter L. Galison
Joseph Pellegrino University Professor, Harvard University
November 11, 2011

When objectivity became a goal for science in the early nineteenth century, natural philosophers had to invert epistemic virtues: idealization out, mechanical representation in. Twentieth-century scientists questioned image-based mechanical objectivity, demanding frankly subjective interpretation, not just mechanical depiction. In the early twenty-first century, scientists are perched between scientific, engineering, and entrepreneurial forms of sight. In this lecture, Peter L. Galison, Joseph Pellegrino University Professor at Harvard University, discusses the evolution and limits of objectivity and how reproduction of images has begun to focus on the production of new objects: presentation instead of representation.

The lecture was sponsored by the Association of Members of the Institute for Advanced Study (AMIAS) and was held in conjunction with their annual membership meeting.