"Interested Methods" and "Versions of Pragmatism"
In this commentary, Kristin Asdal reflects on pragmatism as one of the methodological touchstones of Science, technology and society (STS). In its focus on practices, pragmatist STS can be prone to falling into a problematic presentism, obscuring the historicity of the practices being studied, and to falling into problematic material/semiotic binaries. But what does it take, in practice, to be pragmatic?
In her commentary, Asdal points to how this ought to imply being open when it comes to our choice of methods, thus finding creative ways of maintaining a crucial recognition of history as well as relations between the textual and the material. This in turn might instantiate new, distinctive, and inspiring modes of pragmatist methodological insight— such as precisely in these special issue papers devoted to animal care. These papers are also inspiringly pragmatic, in the meaning of careful—in order not to be overtly programmatic, i.e. deciding beforehand your position or standpoint on a given topic, such as human–animal relations. Following on from this she puts forward the notion “interested methods.