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Elaborating the notion of performativity

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  • Michel Callon

    ()
    (CSI - Centre de sociologie de l'innovation - CNRS : UMR7185 - MINES ParisTech - École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris)

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    Abstract

    There are several ways of describing the main theoretical and epistemological achievements of science and technology studies (STS). We can say, for example, that STS have made it possible to conceive of a third way between realism and relativism : science and techniques “explicitate” reality by constructing it and construct reality by “explicitating” it. This process of explanation maintains both the existence of a reality that resists, that doesn't do just anything, and the idea that this reality, engaged in various trials, can resist in various different ways ; in short, it is multiple, ambiguous and, why not, constructed or instituted, instated. To use Austin's vocabulary, one could also say that scientific statements – to take only them – are performative. Above all, this assertion would shield us from the temptation to contend that they are constative, that they try to describe and analyse a reality on which they will not intervene.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number hal-00460877.

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    Date of creation: 2009
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    Publication status: Published, Le Libellio d'Aegis, 2009, 5, 1, 18-29
    Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00460877

    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://hal-ensmp.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00460877
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    Web page: http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/

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