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Images of Knowledge

The Epistemic Lives of Pictures and Visualisations

Edited By Nora S. Vaage, Rasmus T. Slaattelid, Trine Krigsvoll Haagensen and Samantha L. Smith

The authors consider the relationship between knowledge and image, though multi-faceted, to be one of reciprocal dependence. But how do images carry and convey knowledge? The ambiguities of images means that interpretations do not necessarily follow the intention of the image producers. Through an array of different cases, the chapters critically reflect upon how images are mobilised and used in different knowledge practices, within certain knowledge traditions, in different historical periods. They question what we take for granted, what seems evident, what goes without saying. This approach spans across established categories such as «scientific imaging», «religious images» and «artworks», and considers how images may contribute meaning across such categories.

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Beyond Representation? Making sense of nano images (Rasmus T. Slaattelid)

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Rasmus T. Slaattelid Beyond Representation? Making sense of nano images “The time is ripe to think about images beyond representation” Lorraine Daston1 “Whatever escape we may seek, when it comes to the heart of what the sciences are about, we touch on representation.” Hans-Jorg Rheinberger2 “…representation is not to be subjected to definition: it is inexhaustible as a subject.” Bas C. van Fraassen3 Are scientific images representations of an independently existing reality, or do they in fact serve different purposes? Recent efforts to move “beyond” the idea of representation in studies of scientific images, suggest that the idea of representa- tion is a problem in need of a solution, and that in order to solve it we should to get rid of it. However, this chapter examines how the problem of representation is articulated in recent literature on nano images,4 and finds that discussions about representation in nano images in all these cases entail the idea of moving beyond representation. The idea that a scientific image accurately represents a mind-independent reality in some way or another is intuitievely plausible. In a wider context, sci- entific realism with regard to knowledge builds on the assumption that the link between scientific theories, models and images on the one hand, and reality on 1 Daston, Lorraine: “Beyond representation”. In: Coopmans, C. / Vertesi, J. / Lynch, M.E / Woolgar, S. (eds.): Representation in Scientific Practice Revisited. The MIT Press: Cam- bridge, MA 2014, pp. 319–322, p. 320. 2 Rheinberger, Hans-Jorg. Toward...

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