Materials and their Biographies

The Case of Titanium and its Dioxide


  • Ronei Clécio Mocellin Federal University of Paraná - UFPR
  • Luciana Zaterka Federal University of ABC - UFABC



Biography of Materials, Modes of Existence, Titanium, Titanium Dioxide


In this article, we are interested in analyzing the biography of metallic titanium (Ti) and its dioxide (TiO2) from a historical, philosophical, and sociological point of view of some of its modes of existence. This biography does not suggest any anthropomorphization of material objects, rather, it is about an attempt to reconcile the reality of science in the present with its history to understand the particularities of materials in contemporary societies. We intend to investigate some properties and characteristics of the “natural” modes of existence and the new properties and implications when these materials gain a new mode of existence, the nanostructured one. This mode of existence refers to a new way of organizing scientific knowledge, an inflection which has been called technoscience, more concerned with what an object will become in the future, then with what it essentially is. In this sense, the proper chemical identity of these substances is one among other modes of existence, into this mode of existence, one must add others which can approach its biological, geological, cultural, technological, economic or geopolitical behavior.


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How to Cite

Mocellin, Ronei Clécio, and Luciana Zaterka. 2022. “Materials and Their Biographies: The Case of Titanium and Its Dioxide”. Transversal: International Journal for the Historiography of Science, no. 13 (November).