Is history and philosophy of science withering on the Vine?

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 21 (2):149-174 (1991)
Nearly thirty years after the first stirrings of the Kuhnian revolution, history and philosophy of science continues to galvanize methodological discussions in all corners of the academy except its own. Evidence for this domestic stagnation appears in Warren Schmaus's thoughtful review of Social Epistemology in which Schmaus takes for granted that history of science is the ultimate court of appeal for disputes between philosophers and sociologists. As against this, this essay argues that such disputes may be better treated by experimental psychology. Humanistic methods typically (though not always) blind the historian to cognitive biases and limitations that make it difficult for philosophers and sociologists to mobilize historical research for settling their differences. It is also observed that the failure of philosophers to incorporate the methods and findings of experiemental psychology is symptomatic of an artificially restrictive understanding of the normative dimension of their enterprise.
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