Meeting the Universe Halfway Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning

ISBN-10: 082233917X

ISBN-13: 9780822339175

Edition: 2006

Authors: Karen Barad

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Description:

"Meeting the Universe Halfway" is an ambitious book with far-reaching implications for numerous fields in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. In this volume, Karen Barad, theoretical physicist and feminist theorist, elaborates her theory of agential realism. Offering an account of the world as a whole rather than as composed of separate natural and social realms, agential realism is at once a new epistemology, ontology, and ethics. The starting point for Barad's analysis is the philosophical framework of quantum physicist Niels Bohr. Barad extends and partially revises Bohr's philosophical views in light of current scholarship in physics, science studies, and the philosophy of science as well as feminist, poststructuralist, and other critical social theories. In the process, she significantly reworks understandings of space, time, matter, causality, agency, subjectivity, and objectivity. In an agential realist account, the world is made of entanglements of "social" and "natural" agencies, where the distinction between the two emerges out of specific intra-actions. Intra-activity is an inexhaustible dynamism that configures and reconfigures relations of space-time-matter. In explaining intra-activity, Barad reveals questions about how nature and culture interact and change over time to be fundamentally misguided. And she reframes understanding of the nature of scientific and political practices and their "interrelationship." Thus she pays particular attention to the responsible practice of science, and she emphasizes changes in the understanding of political practices, critically reworking Judith Butler's influential theory of performativity. Finally, Barad usesagential realism to produce a new interpretation of quantum physics, demonstrating that agential realism is more than a means of reflecting on science; it can be used to actually do science.
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Book details

Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publication date: 7/11/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 544
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.25" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 1.210
Language: English

Preface and Acknowledgments
Entangled Beginnings
Introduction: The Science and Ethics of Mattering
Meeting the Universe Halfway
Diffractions: Differences, Contingencies, and Entanglements That Matter
Intra-Actions Matter
Niels Bohr's Philosophy-Physics: Quantum Physics and the Nature of Knowledge and Reality
Agential Realism: How Material-Discursive Practices Matter
Entanglements and Re(con)figurations
Getting Real: Technoscientific Practices and the Materialization of Reality
Spacetime Re(con)figurings: Naturalcultural Forces and Changing Topologies of Power
Quantum Entanglements: Experimental Metaphysics and the Nature of Nature
The Ontology of Knowing, the Intra-activity of Becoming, and the Ethics of Mattering
Cascade Experiment Alice Fulton
The Uncertainty Principle is Not the Basis of Bohr's Complementarity
Controversy concerning the Relationship between Bohr's Principle of Complementarity and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle
Notes
References
Index
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