The notion of 'circulating reference', introduced by Bruno Latour in his book 'Pandora's Hope', gives an opportunity for empirical embodiment of Josef Mitterer's project of non-dualising mode of speaking, described in his book 'Beyond Philosophy' (Das Jenseits der Philosophie). The aim of the paper is to introduce the concept of circulating reference with use of two examples: research on axon sprouting and allergy tests. The authors claim that it is not possible to bring down the research practices to binary relationships (e.g. of 'world-language' type), because it consists of a chain or a network of relationships among heterogeneous elements. Each of them performs the role of a sign with reference to previous element. They also claim that the circulating reference is a phenomenon of frequent occurrence, both inside and outside science. Therefore, there is a need for a comparative approach that would enable studying science and non-scientific cultural domains. They develop a form of schemes, grasping circulating reference processes that would help develop the comparative approach. The authors believe that such an approach would improve our view of science and the relationships among the sciences and other cultural areas.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.