The Ghost In/On The Machine: Magic, Technology And The "Modest Witness"

Macquarie University
Publication Type:
Journal Article
SCAN, 2004, 1 (2), pp. 1 - 5
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In her essay, "Modest_Witness@Second_ Millenium" Donna Haraway writes about the ?modest witness?, the scientific observer whose disinterested observation of phenomena is central to the scientific method. Haraway deconstructs the meaning of 'modesty' in this context and then situates the practice of the 'modest witness' socially and culturally: This self-invisibility is the specifically modern, European, masculine, scientific form of the virtue of modesty. This is the form of modesty that pays off its practitioners in the coin of epistemological and social power. This kind of modesty is one of the founding virtues of what we call modernity. This is the virtue that guarantees that the modest witness is the legitimate and authorized ventriloquist for the object world, adding nothing from his mere opinions, from his biasing embodiment. (Haraway, 1997: 23-24)
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