14.0603 new on WWW: DLib, Ariadne; The Humanities and the Sciences (ACLS)

From: by way of Willard McCarty (willard@lists.village.Virginia.EDU)
Date: Fri Jan 19 2001 - 16:52:20 EST

  • Next message: by way of Willard McCarty: "14.604 programmer analyst job at Cornell"

                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 603.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

       [1] From: NINCH-ANNOUNCE <david@ninch.org> (196)
             Subject: D-Lib (Jan 2000) & Ariadne (26) now available online

       [2] From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk> (66)
             Subject: new ACLS occasional report

             Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2001 20:42:56 +0000
             From: NINCH-ANNOUNCE <david@ninch.org>
             Subject: D-Lib (Jan 2000) & Ariadne (26) now available online

    News on Networking Cultural Heritage Resources
    from across the Community

                   January 2001 issue of D-Lib Magazine now available

                              Ariadne 26 now available

    The latest issues of D-Lib magazine, from Cornell University, and Ariadne,
    from the UK's Office of Library networking are now available online.

    David Green

                   January 2001 issue of D-Lib Magazine now available

    >Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2001 11:10:54 -0500
    >From: Bonnie Wilson <bwilson@cnri.reston.va.us>
    >To: Dlib-subscribers@dlib.org


    The January 2001 issue of D-Lib Magazine
    <http://www.dlib.org/>http://www.dlib.org/ is now available. The table of
    contents is at

    The January issue contains Caroline Arms review of the
    book, "The Intellectual Foundation of Information
    Organization," by Elaine Svenonius, and an opinion piece
    entitled "Commercial Digital Libraries and the Academic
    Community: How New Firms Might Develop New Relationships
    between "Publisher" and Higher Education," by Gregrory

    This issue also contains four articles, seven 'In
    Brief' items, and a generous selection of 'Clips and
    Pointers'. The Featured Collection for the January issue is
    "Introduction to the Plant Kingdom," a web site created by
    Dr. C.M. Sean Carrington, University of the West Indies.

    [material deleted]


                              Ariadne 26 now available

    >From: Philip Hunter <lispjh@UKOLN.AC.UK>
    >Subject: Ariadne 26 now available

    Ariadne 26 is now available at:


    This issue features several articles focussing on the UK Electronic
    Libraries Programme and a retrospective overview by the former Director of
    the Programme, Chris Rusbridge. Ariadne 26 also features an introductory
    article on the "Distributed National Electronic Resource," by Stephen
    Pinfield and Lorcan Dempsey. Plus two articles on the role of e-commerce in
    Higher Education.

    Ariadne also features a review of the Preservation 2000 conference in York.

    [material deleted]

    Ariadne issues 27 and 28 now preparation. Suggestions for content should be
    sent to the Ariadne Editorial Office at:

    Copy deadline for issue 27 is March 5, 2001. Copy Deadline for issue 28 is
    June 4,

    [material deleted]

             Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2001 21:36:22 +0000
             From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk>
             Subject: new ACLS occasional report

    Humanists will be interested in the latest ACLS Occasional Paper, No. 47,
    The Humanities and the Sciences, which includes papers by Jerome Friedman
    (theoretical physics, MIT), Peter Galison (History of Science and Physics,
    Harvard) and Susan Haack (Philosophy and Law, Miami). Billy E Frye
    (Chancellor, Emory) served as moderator. The volume is online at
    <http://www.acls.org/op47-1.htm>. (For those of you unfamiliar with the
    American Council of Learned Societies' series, allow me strongly to
    recommend it to you. Clifford Geertz's lecture, published a couple of years
    ago in the series, is a gem, for example; it is at

    Friedman compares the qualities of the scientific and humanistic
    imaginations and the ideas of creativity and beauty in both. He finds some
    differences but stronger similarities. Those who have read scientists'
    writings on beauty and elegance in theoretical work (e.g. P.A.M. Dirac,
    G.H. Hardy) will be on familiar ground.

    To my mind (and to that of James Gustafson, the theologian who starts off
    the concluding discussion) the central piece in this small collection is
    Peter Galison's. Galison is best known for his work on the history of
    experimental physics in the building of the atomic bomb. His book on the
    subject, Image and Logic, makes a major contribution to our understanding
    of the experimental sciences and to the way interdisciplinary
    collaborations work, as I have previously summarised on Humanist. His piece
    here, "Objectivity is Romantic", reports on research toward a book about
    the representations of objectivity in scientific publications from the end
    of the 18thC into the early 20th. He begins with an examination of
    collected photographs meant to train the young researcher or medic, e.g
    "atlases" of cloud-chamber photographs, anatomical drawings then
    photographs and so forth, and follows the changes in the conceptualisations
    of objectivity that they manifest, relating these changes to parallel
    developments in manufacture of goods and philosophical ideas, particularly
    in Germany and England, in Coleridge's thought. He finds that "the
    in these various regimes of image-making are not purely conceptual.... we
    do not have a strategy of inquiry (an epistemology) followed by a
    morally-based reception (an ethics).... The machine is moralised from the
    get-go. Similarly, there is no accepted practice of neutral procedure of
    automatic image registration that later acquires a valuation.... For all
    these reasons, it might be more precise to speak about comportment
    (embracing the moral, technical, and epistemic), rather than concepts
    (capturing the ordered rules of combination imposed on statements)."

    Haack, in "Science, Literature, and the Literature of Science", seems
    mostly concerned to clear away what she regards as the nonsense about
    scientists making it all up so that she can approach the question of what a
    rhetoric of science might be like. The trouble I have with essays like this
    stems from the unitary conception of what science is, how it works -- as if
    there were one scientific method. (For arguments against this see Hacking,
    Feyerabend.) Galison's historical awareness of contingent ideas is rare.

    In the concluding discussion David Green (NINCH) asks a question put on
    Humanist some time ago, if memory serves -- why "we don't have anything
    approaching a history [or philosophy] of the humanities" as we do of the
    sciences. Galison notes that the history of scholarship in the early modern
    and pre-modern periods have been studied for some time, e.g. by Anthony
    Grafton, but that the last two centuries have no such history. But why?

    Inevitably in discussions on the topic of the sciences and the humanities
    someone mentions C.P. Snow's "two cultures" argument. Galison responds that
    "Snow in the end wanted to make points [against Levis] about whether each
    side knew certain
    facts.... And I think that the knowledge of certain particular results is
    really not the issue. The issues that interest me in joining the humanities
    and the sciences... have to do with what counts as a demonstration or as an
    argument." That, it seems to me, is *exactly* what we need to ask of
    ourselves for humanities computing.


    Dr Willard McCarty / Senior Lecturer /
    Centre for Computing in the Humanities / King's College London /
    Strand / London WC2R 2LS / U.K. /
    +44 (0)20 7848-2784 / ilex.cc.kcl.ac.uk/wlm/

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