Multistable FiguresOn the Critical Potential of Ir/Reversible Aspect-SeeingVienna: Turia + Kant, 2014
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Cite as: Benjamin Dawson, ‘Cognition and Volition: Two Aspects of the Human in the Age of Experimental Systems’, in Multistable Figures: On the Critical Potential of Ir/Reversible Aspect-Seeing, ed. by Christoph F. E. Holzhey, Cultural Inquiry, 8 (Vienna: Turia + Kant, 2014), pp. 113–40 <>

Cognition and VolitionTwo Aspects of the Human in the Age of Experimental SystemsBenjamin Dawson

Keywords: biology, experimental; Canguilhem, Georges; human biology; knowledge, theory of; life sciences and philosophy; multistable figures; multistability; Rheinberger, Hans-Jörg

In his major theoretical work on experimentation, Towards a History of Epistemic Things (1997), Hans-Jörg Rheinberger writes: ‘If experimental systems have a life of their own, precisely what kind of life they have remains to be determined.’ Rheinberger is alluding to the slogan Ian Hacking gave to the post-Kuhnian ‘practical turn’ in the history and epistemology of science.


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