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Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature
Synopses & Reviews
The idea that nature is constructed, not discovered — that truth is made, not found — is the keynote of recent scholarship in the history of science. Tracing the gendered roots of science in culture, Donna Haraway's writings about scientific research on monkeys and apes is arguably the finest scholarship in this tradition. She has carefully studied the publications, the papers, the correspondence, and the history of the expeditions and institutions of primate studies, uncovering the historical construction of the pedigrees for existing social relations — the naturalization of race, sex, and class.
Throughout this book she is analysing accounts, narratives, and stories of the creation of nature, living organisms, and cyborgs (cybernetic organisms: systems which embrace organic and technological components). She also looks critically at the immune system as an information system, and shows how deeply our cultural assumptions penetrate into allegedly value-neutral medical research. In several of these essays she explores and develops the contested terms of reference of existing feminist scholarship; and by mapping the fate of two potent and ambiguous words — 'nature' and 'experience' — she uncovers new visions and provides the possibility of a new politics of hope.
A collection of ten essays written mostly during the eighties. With a feminist perspective and the premise that nature is constructed, rather than discovered — and that truth is made, not found — Haraway provides an analysis of the popular and scientific struggles involved in the telling of evolutionary tales. The author is a historian of science at the U. of California, Santa Cruz. Some plates and illustrations.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -276) and index.
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