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Redaktør: Marie Svarre Nielsen, CNV.
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Niels Bohr Archive's History of Science Seminar:

1931, the year of living dangerously: The Russian Delegation and the Second International Congress of the History of Science

Once again, there will be a lecture in our irregular series of seminars. The field of history of science has developed sufficiently that one of its representatives can turn to a crucial event in his own field, and even reinterpret it in relation to earlier descriptions of the event. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the seminar.

Finn Aaserud
Niels Bohr Archive
Blegdamsvej 17
DK-2100 Copenhagen
Web address:

Tuesday 7 March 2006, 14.15
Auditorium M, Niels Bohr Institute, Blegdamsvej 21

Chris Chilvers, Assistant Professor
History of Technology Division
Technical Knowledge Centre of Denmark (DTV)

The Second International Congress of the History of Science held 1931 in London has acquired an iconic status in the modern discourse. Contrary to the generally accepted view that the event was intended to be a 'quiet meeting of historians of science' of standard academic character, the congress was designed to launch a public intellectual movement for the history of science, and the debates were carefully sequenced to demonstrate the contemporary and philosophical relevance of the history of science. The most serious historical reinterpretation has occurred regarding the Special Session, allegedly dedicated to the Russian delegation's papers, which witnessed the crescendo of the confrontation between the Russians and Charles Singer, the mainstream historian of science mainly responsible for the organisation of the event. Indeed, the congress needs to be understood in terms of the political and economic maelstrom in which Britain found itself in the summer of 1931. The presence of the Russian delegation exacerbated this tension and brought the political crisis to the floor of the Science Museum.


Dirk Baecker and John Deely:

The form of the firm, or towards a network model of organizational choice and Why semiotics is foundational for a postmodern philosophy of knowledge

Time and place:
Tuesday March 7th. 9-12 and 13-16 at Porcelænshaven 18A, bygning 65, lokale 0.78, 2000 Frederiksberg.
Since lunch and coffee is served at the seminar please give notice on your participation to Gorm Madsen at
There is no attendance fee.

Professor of sociology Dirk Baecker, University of Witten/Herdecke, Germany:

The lecture and seminar will cover more recent attempts to use a Spencer-Brownian notation of form for the analysis of choice, organization, and firm. The overall attempt will be to show what a model of social choice in distinction from a model of rational choice will look like. Some inferences regarding the behavior of firms and management will be undertaken.

Dr Dirk Baecker studied sociology and economics at Köln and Paris, and did his philosophical dissertation (on markets) and his post-doctoral habilitation (on firms) with Prof Niklas Luhmann at the University of Bielefeld. His publications include Information und Risiko in der Marktwirtschaft (Frankfurt am Main 1988), Die Form des Unternehmens(Frankfurt am Main 1993), Wozu Systeme? (Berlin 2001), Form und Formen der Kommunikation (Frankfurt am Main 2005). He is editor of Problems of Form (Stanford, Cal., 1999). Homepage:

Anders la Cour, assistant professor at CBS, will start the discussion by offering some critical remarks on Dr. Baecker's lecture.

Professor of Philosophy and Semiotics John Deely at the University of St Thomas, Houston, and Executive Director of the Semiotic Society of America will speak about:

Semiotics and The four ages of Understanding: Why semiotics is foundational for a postmodern philosophy of knowledge". Professor Deely will talk about the manner in which semiotics transcends the realism/idealism opposition, which developed over the course of modernity, and in so doing establishes the beginning of a post-modern development within the overall history of philosophy.

Professor was chosen by the SSA to be its first living Thomas A. Sebeok Fellow in 1993, awarded the first Mouton d'Or Award for the best essay published in the field by the journal Semiotica 1981, a second time in 2004 for his 2003 article The word semiotics: formation and origins. The first edition of his book, Basics of Semiotics, was published in 1991 and is now translated into ten languages, a fourth enlarged edition is published in English and Estonian in bilingual format. His major works are the 1985 critical bilingual edition of John Poinsot's 1632 Tractatus de Signis (University of California Press 1985) and his Four Ages of Understanding: The first postmodern survey of philosophy from ancient times to the turn of the 21st century (2001, University of Toronto Press) .

See articles from both professors in Cybernetics & Human Knowing

Associate professor Frederik Stjernfelt talks in opposition about:
The extension of semiosis - critical issues in John Deely's The Four Ages of Understanding.

Frederik Stjernfelt is born 1957, Ph.D. from University of Copenhagen, currently visiting professor at Learning Lab Denmark, the Danish University of Education. Editor of the journal KRITIK. Latest book: "Kritik af den negative opbyggelighed" (A critique of negative moralism, with Søren Ulrik Thomsen, 2005). Forthcoming: "Diagrammatology", Synthese Library.

Best Wishes -
KnowledgeNet and Søren Brier


HUGIN og MUNIN er et elektronisk nyhedsbrev for aktiviteter indenfor videnskabsteori, videnskabsfilosofi, videnskabshistorie, videnskabssociologi og tilgrænsende emneområder. Det udsendes af Center for Naturfilosofi og Videnskabsstudier, Københavns Universitet, for at styrke kontakten mellem grupper og enkeltpersoner indenfor de nævnte fagområder.

Hugin og Munin - tanke og erindring - er de to vise ravne, der sidder på Odins skuldre og hvisker ham alle tidender i øret. Han sender dem ud ved daggry, og ved morgenmåltidet er de hos ham igen med nyheder fra hele verden.

Ravnene er her valgt som vartegn for den filosofiske eftertanke og den historiske erindring.