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Drawing processes

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  • UserChiara Ambrosio (University College London) World_link
  • ClockThursday 25 February 2021, 15:30-17:00
  • HouseZoom.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Helen Curry.

In their recent manifesto for a processual philosophy of biology, John Dupré and Daniel Nicholson (2018) propose a shift – at least as far as biology and the life sciences are concerned – from substances to processes. Recent work across art, biology and process ontology (Anderson, Dupré and Wakefield, 2019) has begun to build a visual epistemology of processes by bringing the practice of drawing, as a pathway to process thinking, back into the laboratory. In this talk, I contribute to this emergent line of philosophical inquiry, and in particular I propose a pragmatist epistemology for drawing processes. Pragmatism, which I consider in its original delineation by the philosopher and scientist Charles S. Peirce, is uniquely placed – as a processual philosophy with a strong grounding in scientific practice – to contribute to this new area of investigation. My argument will focus on the simplest building block of drawing: the humble line. Combining an established body of literature in the field of visual studies (Ingold 2007, 2015; Faietti and Wolf 2015) with theoretical pragmatist writings as well as examples of drawings by Peirce himself, I will argue that the activity of ‘making visible’ through line drawing counts as a form of experimentation in a distinctively Peircean, pragmatist sense – and it does so in a way that cuts across the dichotomy between ‘static’ entities or mechanisms and ‘dynamic’ processes.

This talk is part of the Departmental Seminars in History and Philosophy of Science series.

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