Call for Publications: Transformation, Degradation, Disappearance of Scientific Objects

Call for papers

Theory of Science, a journal for interdisciplinary studies of science, seeks research articles, review articles and book reviews focusing on “Transformation, degradation, disappearance of scientific objects”.

In philosophy and history of science, the readings investigating the complexity of the abandonment of ‘scientific objects’ are rather rare in comparison with those focusing on ‘inventions’, ‘constructions’ or ‘genealogies’. In this thematic issue of Theory of Science, the attention will be drawn to the ‘disappearance’ of ‘scientific objects’.

We suggest that the notion of ‘scientific objects’ can be understood in a two-fold way. It includes not only what a knowing subject aims at, i.e. the object of scientific thought in the strict sense, but it also comprises various elements of science’s architecture, building upon knowledge that they produce: the experimental devices, the method, the forms of expression, the criteria of verification, etc. (it seems appropriate to call these elements of science ‘epistemic objects’ in order to distinguish them from the ‘objects’ examined by scientific thought).

We therefore invite contributors to this special issue to explore the details of the dynamics of science, while insisting on the assertion that the disappearance of scientific objects is not reducible to their pure and simple absence. We offer a hypothesis that trajectories of ‘scientific objects’, extremely varied as they are, find themselves fashioned by their own transformations, the oscillations of their status, their progressive deformations, etc. These alterations establish various modalities of the process of disappearance, which is, in fact, only rarely achieved abruptly.

We raise questions such as the following: How does knowledge abandon its objects? What transformations do the latter undergo? What degradations are they prone to? Is there some logic of disappearance affiliated either with the structure of the reality or with the nature of the discipline that deals with it? These questions take on particular importance for disciplines in which profound ruptures and scientific revolutions are blurred, as in the case of the social sciences. Nevertheless, addressing these issues in the natural sciences as well seems appropriate in the hope for a renewal of their philosophies.

Theory of Science is a peer-reviewed academic journal founded in 1969. For more information, visit

Contact Info:
Theory of science
Journal for interdisciplinary studies of science
Jilska 1, Praha 1, 110 00
Czech Republic, Europe

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Deadline: March 28, 2016

Posted: March 14, 2016