Beyond the Whig history interpretation of history: lessons on 'presentism' from Hélène Metzger

Abstract
During the second half of the twentieth century, historians of science have shown a considerable interest in ‘presentism’, a term first applied to the kind of history of science in which past knowledge is judged to celebrate and legitimize modern science. Taking Herbert Butterfield’s The Whig interpretation of history as a point of reference, ‘presentism’ has been usually associated with ‘Whig history’ or ‘Whiggish history’. Nevertheless, Butterfield’s essay is one of many approaches to this question. In this article, I examine Hélène Metzger’s La méthode philosophique dans l’histoire des sciences, a major theoretical contribution of ‘presentism’. I argue that the papers she published in the 1930s are among the most important critical reflections on ‘presentism’ written by a historian of science before 1950. Through this examination, I demonstrate that Hélène Metzger‘s ideas can provide historians of science with a useful set of tools to reflect upon ‘presentism’, beyond the narrow definition of the latter as ‘Whig history’.Keywords: Metzger; Presentism; Whig History; Hermeneutics
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 12,745
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Will Durant (2010). Lessons of History. Simon & Schuster Paperbacks.
Christian Wuthrich (2012). Demarcating Presentism. In Henk de Regt, Samir Okasha & Stephan Hartmann (eds.), EPSA Philosophy of Science: Amsterdam 2009. Springer. 441--450.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

22 ( #87,407 of 1,410,167 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

0

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.