Theory of the Object

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Edinburgh University Press, 2021 - Philosophy - 301 pages

"Throughout the history of science and technology, objects have been understood in many ways but rarely have they been understood to play an active role in the production of knowledge. This has led to largely anthropocentric theories and histories of science, which treat nature as passive objects viewed by independent observers. Thomas Nail approaches the theory of objects historically in order to tell a completely new story in which objects themselves are the true agents of scientific knowledge. They are processes, not things. It is the first history of science and technology, from prehistory to the present, to illuminate the agency, knowledge and mobility of objects."

"Nail's view of the object can be characterized as "change is the only constant" (to quote those who have gone before). Nail (Univ. of Denver) sets out to convince readers that reality is not a stable essentialist subject/object dichotomy but rather a materialist process of kinetic historical progression. (...) That said, Nail's writing style is generally approachable, so even readers not drawn to academic philosophy of science might find this an interesting read."

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About the author (2021)

Thomas Nail is Distinguished Scholar and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Denver. He is the award-winning author of eight prestigious University Press books which cover a wide range of topics including migration, borders, technology, digital media, history, science, economics, contemporary politics and climate change. His current research focuses on the influence of mobility on society and the arts in the 21st century. His work has been translated into ten major languages and cited across more than 20 academic disciplines.His published books are Marx in Motion: A New Materialist Marxism (Oxford University Press, 2020), Lucretius II: An Ethics of Motion (Edinburgh University Press, 2020), Theory of the Image (Oxford University Press, 2019), Being and Motion (Oxford University Press, 2018), Lucretius I: An Ontology of Motion (Edinburgh University Press, 2018), Theory of the Border (Oxford University Press, 2016), The Figure of the Migrant (Stanford University Press, 2015) and Returning to Revolution: Deleuze, Guattari, and Zapatismo (Edinburgh University Press, 2012).He also writes for Aeon: Ideas and Culture, The Huffington Post, Quartz, Pacific Standard: The Science of Society, History News Network and Monthly Review.

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