Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on the Future of the Book

The Power and the Limitations of the Culture of the Book for Scientific Practices: Historical, Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives

Teresa Castelao-Lawless.

The Reformation and the printing press contributed to the advancement of knowledge and the emergence of modern science. One expressed the need for individual access to sources and the second, while not guaranteeing standardisation, did indeed make it possible in the long run. But liberation of minds from static scholarly interpretations of texts such as the Bible and the physical works of Aristotle prevalent in the Middle Ages, added to the desire to read directly from the Book of Nature did not imply that written accounts became obsolete and secondary to scientific literacy. The Royal Academies of Science of the 17th century relied on them for diffusion of the new science of mechanicism and its competition with the traditional Universities. But do scientific books reflect scientific practices accurately? Contrary to the positivist tradition, 20th century philosophers and historians of science such as Bachelard, Polanyi, and Kuhn respond negatively. They indicate the need to make students access hidden dimensions of science underlying their coherent narratives, and which include uncertainty and conflict rather than certainty and consensus. Based on organizational psychology studies, some suggestions follow on how this can be accomplished


Teresa Castelao-Lawless  (United States)
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Arts & Humanities
Grand Valley State University

Ba; Ma Philosophy, Classic University Lisboa, Portugal
Ms; PhD Science & Technology Studies, Va Tech, Virginia, USA
Prof. of P

  • Printing
  • 17th century Scientific Revolution
  • scientific practice
  • philosophy of science
  • scientific literacy

(Virtual Presentation, English)