“… The art of shaping a democratic reality and being directed by it …”—philososophy of science in turbulent times

Studies in East European Thought 64 (1-2):81-89 (2012)
This article has three objectives: First, it revises the history of the reception of Ludwik Fleck’s monograph Entstehung und Entwicklung einer wissenschaftlichen Tatsache (1935, Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact). Contrary to the established picture, Fleck’s book was largely discussed in the years before the outbreak of World War II. What becomes clear when reading these early reviews and especially Fleck’s comments to those written by representatives of Nazi Germany is, second, the political dimension of his epistemology. In this respect, Fleck’s emphasis on the genuinely democratic character of science will be discussed in some detail. And third, Fleck’s notion of “ Denkstil ”—thought-style—shall be examined more closely since, as we will claim, it can be understood as a notion indicating where the democratic dimension of science encounters its limits
Keywords History of epistemology  Political epistemology  Democracy  Thought-style
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