Science, Technology and Human Values 22 (3):267-285 (1997)

Gerard De Vries
University of Amsterdam
Humans do two types of actions, polimorphic actions and mimeomorphic actions. The ability to carry out polimorphic actions cannot be mastered outside of socialization. Mimeomorphic actions, however, can be learned in other ways; sometimes, they can be learned away from the context of practice. Polimorphic actions cannot be mimicked by machines, but some mimeomorphic actions can. Other mimeomorphic actions are too complex to mechanize. Actions that cannot be mechanized because they are physically complicated should not be confused with actions that cannot be mechanized because socialization is needed to master them. The analysis has implications for recent debates concerning the differences and similarities between humans and machines. The implica tion of the analysis is that much more can be understood about the relationship between humans and machines if the difference is treated as being a consequence of the unique properties of human societies. In this article, the analysis is applied to cardiac catheteriza tion, pacemaker implantation, simulation of bodies, and work in a medical "SkillsLab."
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DOI 10.1177/016224399702200301
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References found in this work BETA

Philosophical Investigations.Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein - 1953 - New York, NY, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Personal Knowledge.Michael Polanyi - 1958 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Changing Order: Replication and Induction in Scientific Practice.Harry Collins - 1985 - Chicago, IL, USA: University of Chicago Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

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Coordination and Embodiment in the Operating Room.Tiago Moreira - 2004 - Body and Society 10 (1):109-129.
Socialness and the Undersocialized Conception of Society.H. M. Collins - 1998 - Science, Technology and Human Values 23 (4):494-516.

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