Rethinking Practices and Cultures in the history of science Session 5

Organised by the ERC project SAW (Research Group SPHERE) and Koen Vermeir, in the context of the seminar Rethinking Practice and Culture in History of Science.

Venue: Université Paris Diderot , Condorcet Building, room 646 A
10 rue Alice Domon et Léonie Duquet 75013 Paris – map

June 20th, 2016 – 9:30 am to 5:30 pm

Readers and speakers
Florence Bretelle-Establet, Texts reading of  LEI Hsiang-Lin Sean
Ludovic Coupaye, Texts reading of Clifford Geertz, Philippe Descola, Michael Carrithers and Haudricourt
Reviel Netz, The Mathematical Cultures of Greek Cultures
LEE Eunsoo, Makers, Readers, and Translators of Mathematical Diagrams

Programme pdf version

Florence Bretelle-Establet, (ERC Project SAW & SPHERE, CNRS -Université Paris Diderot)
Texts reading of Sean Hsiang-Lin LEI, Neither Monkey nor Horse, Medicine in the Struggle over China’s modernity, The University of Chicago Press, 2014, chap 8, “The Germ Theory and the Prehistory of “Pattern Differentiation and Treatment Determination”, pp. 167-192

Ludovic Coupaye, (University College London, United Kingdom)
Texts reading,
♦ Clifford Geertz: The Impact of the Concept of Culture on the Concept of Man in
The Interpretation of Culture, Chapter 2, 35-54
♦ Philippe Descola: The Great Divide in
Beyond Nature and Culture, Chapter 3, 57-85
♦ Michael Carrithers (ed.): Ontology is just another word for Culture in
Critique of Anthropology
online: Not all texts, but people should choose one text and at least read the introduction and the debate at the end.
♦ Haudricourt, André-Georges 1987[1962]: “Domestication des animaux, culture des plantes et traitement d’autrui” in
La Technologie, science humaine. Recherches d’histoire et d’ethnologie des techniques. Paris, Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, 277-285.

Reviel Netz, (Stanford University, USA)
The Mathematical Cultures of Greek Culture
Abstract – The practices of Greek mathematics were, in some ways, stable throughout antiquity. In other ways, we can note specific practices typical to the various eras such as the Hellenistic world, or Late Antiquity. In this talk I account for such features – both stability as well as transformation – as responses to wider features of ancient Greek culture.

LEE Eunsoo, (Stanford University, USA)
Makers, Readers, and Translators of Mathematical Diagrams
Abstract – In general, classical philology is a discipline that studies transcribed texts. Philologists compare various readings of transcribed texts in order to reconstruct the archetypal text. Besides the text, diagrams are drawn in geometrical treatises. Shared diagrammatic errors found across manuscripts reveal that diagrams were also transcribed. Considering the plethora of studies on the scribal practices of copyists, it is surprising that diagrams are rarely studied in a similar manner as transcribed objects. The makers, readers, and translators who partake in the transmission of diagrams are shrouded in obscurity.
My talk will present preliminary research analyzing the practices of transcribing diagrams. In particular, my research investigates manuscript diagrams in Euclid’s Elements, and discusses the features of the transcribed diagrams. Based on the analysis of the transcribed diagrams, several questions will be discussed: Who copies the diagrams; who has access to them; who reads and uses them; who translates them? How are the transcription, transmission, and dissemination of diagrams done? Can we find a common rule between the textual transcription and diagrammatic transcription? Through these questions, this talk aims at exploring the complex transmission of visual knowledge.