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Isaac Record


Isaac Record

Teaching Professor in HPS, Lyman Briggs College, Michigan State University
Founding Director of the Collaborative Experiential Learning Laboratory

Isaac Record is a teaching professor at Lyman Briggs College, Michigan State University, where he is Founding Director of the Collaborative Experiential Learning Laboratory. He teaches courses in philosophy of science, science and technology studies, and critical making. His research seeks to situate our epistemic and ethical circumstances within a network of values, capabilities, and material and social technologies. Isaac holds a PhD and MA from the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (IHPST) at the University of Toronto and a BS in Electrical Engineering and BS in Computer Engineering from the University of Maine.

Teaching interests

I am a teaching professor, meaning that my primary professional responsibility is in teaching. In a typical year, I teach a mix of LB 133: Introduction to History, Philosophy, and Sociology of STEM; LB 322A/B: Advances in Science and Technology; and LB 492: Science, Society, Self. more...

Request a letter of reference

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It is my policy to write a letter only when I am confident that I can write a strong letter of support. This means that I must know you well enough to speak with confidence about your performance as a student, researcher, or other position. It also means that I will need your help in assembling the appropriate details of your case. Finally, I will need all of the relevant details at least two weeks in advance of the first deadline. Even when meeting all three of these conditions, I may have to decline your request if I am already committed -- therefore, it is helpful to contact me as early as possible.

I receive many requests for letters each semester. As an aid to my own organization, I ask that you fill out the following form.

Research interests

How does the way we think affect what we end up knowing?

We increasingly rely on technology to find information, make choices, and take action. My research explores (1) accounts of communal knowledge practices, which have been developed in exciting ways by philosophers of science, social epistemologists, historians, sociologists, and learning designers, and (2) concerns about trust in technology, under investigation by philosophers, anthropologists, and sociologists of technology. I study the practices of scientists and others who use instruments, the debates that accompany the introduction of new techniques to established disciplines and other knowledge contexts, and the epistemological consequences of pursuing inquiries or education within a technological infrastructure. I believe that empirical investigations into knowledge practices are a necessary complement to traditional philosophical work based on conceptual analysis and thought experiments. The resulting situated understanding of our epistemic and ethical condition is sensitive to a network of factors, including values, capabilities, and material resources, allowing us to better integrate our understandings of knowledge and action.