Infrastructures as Ontological Experiments

Keywords: experiments, infrastructures, practical ontologies


Ontology has recently gained renewed attention in science and technology studies and anthropology (e.g. Gad, Jensen and Winthereik 2015; Holbraad, Pedersen and Viveiros de Castro 2014; Woolgar and Lezaun 2013). Yet, it has a considerably longer pedigree than these recent debates might lead one to think. Experiments, of course, have long held the attention of sociologists, historians, and philosophers of science (Collins 1985; Gooding 1990; Shapin and Schaffer 1985). And infrastructures have been the focus of sustained inquiry in the sociology and history of technology (Bowker 1994; Hughes 1983). Once these terms are put into conjunction, however, each gets a somewhat different inflection. The following note briefly explores the conceptual purchase of considering infrastructures as ontological experiments. 

Author Biography

Casper Bruun Jensen, Honorary lecturer, Leicester University Visiting Professor, Kyoto University

Casper Bruun Jensen is the author of Ontologies for Developing Things (Sense, 2010) and Monitoring Movements in Development Aid (with Brit Ross Winthereik) (2013, MIT) and the editor of Deleuzian Intersections: Science, Technology, Anthropology with Kjetil Rödje (Berghahn, 2009). His present work focuses on environmental infrastructures in South-east Asia.

09 Nov 2015
Considering Concepts