Show Less
Restricted access

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.
Show Summary Details
Restricted access

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 representation 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, scientific 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 ← 79 | 80 → the other, is unbroken.5 Given the primacy of this relationship, the appearance of discontinuities and ruptures regarding this link raise fundamental doubts about the epistemological status of scientific images, as well as about the status of our visual knowledge...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.