The normative turn - Counterfactuals and a philosophical historiography of science

Abstract
Counterfactual reasoning is broadly implicated in causal claims made by historians. However, this point is more generally recognized and accepted by economic historians than historians of science. A good site for examining alternative appeals to counterfactuals is to consider "what if" the Scientific Revolution had not occurred in seventeenth-century Europe. Two alternative interpretations are analyzed: that the revolution would eventually have happened somewhere else ("overdeterminism") or that the revolution would not have happened at all ("underdeterminism"). Broadly speaking, these two interpretations correspond to the respective attitudes of philosophers and historians to the development of science. However, a case is presented for synthesizing the two interpretations into a normative historiography of science that would allow past and present concerns to interrogate each other. This exercise in counterfactual reasoning can be imagined in the spirit of a time traveler who aims to persuade, rather than simply understand, the natives he or she encounters
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(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: 11,005
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
James Elwick (2012). Layered History: Styles of Reasoning as Stratified Conditions of Possibility. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (4):619-627.
Similar books and articles
Jonathan Hodge (2005). Against "Revolution" and "Evolution". Journal of the History of Biology 38 (1):101 - 121.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2012-11-01

Total downloads

5 ( #226,355 of 1,101,125 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #290,630 of 1,101,125 )

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.