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The ServerA Media History from the Present to the Baroque$
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Markus Krajewski

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780300180817

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300180817.001.0001

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Holding the Reins: On Demons and Other Ministering Spirits of Science

Holding the Reins: On Demons and Other Ministering Spirits of Science

(p.169) Chapter 4 Holding the Reins: On Demons and Other Ministering Spirits of Science
The Server

Markus Krajewski

, Ilinca Iurascu
Yale University Press

This chapter deals with the history of sciences—more specifically, on the lab as the operational headquarters of the marginalized helpers in the production of knowledge. Following a brief history of demons and their central role in thought experiments, the chapter draws parallels between the theoretical activity of the ministering spirits of science and the concrete, yet equally elusive work of lab servants. These figures evince negentropic qualities—without their hidden yet constant (prep) work, any theoretical or experimental insight into the laws of nature would prove impossible. Starting from the precarious relation between the public scientist and his invisible aides, the chapter further discusses the benefits of and issues with fictionality in the scientific domain.

Keywords:   sciences, laboratory, marginalized helpers, knowledge, thought experiments, spirits, laws of nature, scientist

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