Series: Investigating an epistemic pattern

Series are found in a variety of fields, widespread in the arts, mass media, and industry. Disparate notions cause the term ‘series’ to be vague, while bearing a challenging multiplicity. Though rarely an autonomous subject of philosophical inquiry, seriality has come to be recognised in terms of a principle of succession within diachronic comprehension. By contrast, the aim of this research is to examine seriality in a synchronic form, that is its manifestation in the order and relation of things: series as a pattern of order.

The project analysed synchronic concepts of series, looked at the position and function of series in theoretical contexts and mada a plea for its methodical and disciplinary transversality with reference to the work of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, Charles Fourier, Paul Kammerer, Jean-Paul Sartre, Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, and Iris Marion Young. Situated in different constellations of knowledge between 1800 and 2000, these various concepts of series were considered from the perspective of the history of science. Their role in the ‘manufacturing of knowledge’ was identified and applied to a reconstruction of the history of the division between the sciences and the humanities. Moreover, these patterns of series were examined on their epistemological function in their historical space (historical epistemology).

The project thus developed a concept of ‘series’ with transversality being constitutive for its order. This concept was introduced into the current debate on the philosophy of science concerned with epistemic objectivism and relativism, especially accentuated in recent years by feminist philosophers and postcolonial thinkers. Following on from the transversal pattern, the project’s systematical search for the epistemological potential of the series assessed the extent of thinking a serial objectivity into existence.

Leitung: Christine Blättler


Christine Blättler (Hg.)

Kunst der Serie
Die Serie in den Künsten

Wilhelm Fink Verlag, München 2010, 231 Seiten
ISBN 978-3-7705-5005-0

Christine Blättler

  • »Alles ist Vorwand für die Zahl«. Charles Fouriers Kunst des Kalküls, in: Caroline Welsh, Stefan Willer (Hg.): Interesse für bedingtes Wissen. Wechselbeziehungen zwischen den Wissenskulturen. München: Fink 2008
  • The virtue of similitude, in: C. Reiche (Hg.): Do not exist. Europe, Woman, Digital Medium. Bremen: Thealit 2008
  • Permutation; Serialität; Wiederholung, in: Metzler Lexikon Literatur, Neubearbeitung, hg. von D. Burdorf, C. Fasbender. Stuttgart: J.B. Metzler 2007
  • Die Natur der Umgestaltungen. Lamarck und Fourier, in: P. Berz, H. Höge, C. Riechelmann: Anti-Darwin. Berlin: Kulturverlag Kadmos 2005
  • Serialität als philosophische Kategorie, in: F. Birulés, M. I. Pena Aguado (Hg.): La passió per la llibertat/A passion for freedom, Barcelona: Universitat de Barcelona 2004
  • Serialità come fatto e atto, in: DWF 55–56 (2003), 66–71
  • Überlegungen zu Serialität als ästhetischem Begriff, in: Weimarer Beiträge 4 (2003), 502–516


Arbeitstagung im ZfL
07.12.2006 – 08.12.2006

Gesetz der Serie. Zum Verhältnis von Wiederholung und Serie in Biologie, Literatur und Kunst

ZfL, Jägerstr. 10/11, 10117 Berlin, R. 06