Article ID: CBB874558000

Toward an Integrated History and Philosophy of Diagrammatic Practices (Review article) (June 2020)


This article offers an overview of current approaches to the study of diagrams and their roles in scientific knowledge making. The discussion develops in three parts. The first investigates and questions historical and philosophical analyses of the suppression of diagrams in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It attempts to sketch an alternative historiography of diagrammatic practices in which the insights of advocates of diagrammatic reasoning in a time of “objectivity without images” take center stage. The second part turns to the American philosopher, scientist, and logician Charles Sanders Peirce as a representative defender of diagrammatic reasoning and diagrammatic representation in the late nineteenth century, and it investigates his legacy on current approaches to diagrams. The final part exposes a puzzling paradox in the literature, characterizing it as a false dichotomy between “the representational view” and the “object-based view” of diagrams. The article concludes that this dichotomy reveals more about the identities of scholars embracing particular disciplinary traditions than about diagrams themselves, and it suggests that this can be overcome by attending to diagramming as a practice at the intersections of representation, manipulation, and experimentation.

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Article Hsiang-Ke Chao; Maas, Harro (June 2020) Thinking and Acting with Diagrams. East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal (pp. 191-197). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Maas, Harro
Ferriani, Maurizio
Boulting, Noel
Atkins, Richard Kenneth
Forster, Paul D.
Bellucci, Francesco
East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Dianoia: Annali di storia della filosofia
Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society
History and Philosophy of Logic
Social Studies of Science
Cambridge University Press
University of Texas at Austin
University of Western Ontario (Canada)
University of California, Los Angeles
University of Miami
Philosophy of science
Technoscience; science and technology studies
Visual representation; visual communication
Graphic methods
Peirce, Charles Sanders
Venn, John
Lange, Friedrich Albert
Uexküll, Jakob Johann von
Prigogine, Ilya
Duns Scotus, Johannes
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
21st century
United States
East Asia
Bank of England

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