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Journal Article

Introduction: Reconsidering the Resources of Epistemic Tools


Tkaczyk,  Viktoria
External, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Max Planck Society;


Oertzen,  Christine von
Research Group Data, Media, Mind, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Max Planck Society;

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Tkaczyk, V., & Oertzen, C. v. (2023). Introduction: Reconsidering the Resources of Epistemic Tools. Isis, 114(2), 359-365. doi:10.1086/724796.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000D-2F82-C
This introduction to the Focus section “Supplied Knowledge: Resource Regimes, Materials, and Epistemic Tools” provides a framework to analyze critically the ways in which knowledge depends on material supplies. It claims that most scientific technologies of the early modern and modern periods were made possible only by the steady supply of a large variety of so-called natural resources and that the practices necessary to exploit, process, and provide these resources in the quality and quantity required were closely linked with the scientific and humanistic agendas of their time. The essays assembled here examine select epistemic tools and key materials from which these were made. This introduction shows how the essays apply different scales to reveal the local and global values, epistemic concepts, aesthetic ideals, social systems, (geo)political constellations, and economic frameworks that have co-constituted the making of scientific instruments, artifacts, and knowledge in and beyond the Global North.