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Galileo's Pendulum
Science, Sexuality, and the Body-Instrument Link
Galileo's Pendulum
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Dusan I. Bjelic - Author
Michael Lynch - Foreword by
SUNY series in Science, Technology, and Society
Price: $57.50 
Hardcover - 221 pages
Release Date: October 2003
ISBN10: 0-7914-5881-4
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5881-5

Price: $31.95 
Paperback - 221 pages
Release Date: October 2003
ISBN10: 0-7914-5882-2
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5882-2

Price: $31.95 
Electronic - 221 pages
Release Date: February 2012
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-8609-2

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

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

Dusan I. Bjelic is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Southern Maine and the coeditor (with Obrad Savic) of Balkan as Metaphor: Between Globalization and Fragmentation.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Michael Lynch




1. Time, Pleasure, and Knowledge

2. The Perversion of Objectivity and the Objectivity of Perversion

3. The Jesuits' Homosocial Ties and the Experiments with Galileo's Pendulum


4. The "Body-Instrument Link" and the Prism: A Case Study

5. The Formal Structure of Galileo's Pendulum

6. The Respecification of Galileo's Pendulum




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