Why Does History Matter to the Science Studies Disciplines? A Case for Giving the Past Back Its Future
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of the Philosophy of History 5 (3):562-585 (2012)
Abstract Science and technology studies (STS) has perhaps provided the most ambitious set of challenges to the boundary separating history and philosophy of science since the 19th century idealists and positivists. STS is normally associated with `social constructivism', which when applied to history of science highlights the malleability of the modal structure of reality. Specifically, changes to what is (e.g. by the addition or removal of ideas or things) implies changes to what has been, can be and might be. Latour's account of Pasteur's scientific achievement is a case in point. Two polar attitudes towards the world's modal malleability are identified: over - and under - determination, which correspond, respectively, to a belief in the inevitability and the precariousness of science as a form of knowledge. The distinctness of these positions reflects a cordon sanitaire between the history and the philosophy of science. Consequently, historical agents are not given full voice as constructors of reality: They are either quarantined to a foreign realm called `the past' by the historian or selectively assimilated to an imperial present by the philosopher. The second half of the essay explores what it might mean to restore a robust sense of reality construction to the historical agents. My case in point here is that of the 13th century Franciscan friar, Roger Bacon, who has been alternatively seen as a mad medieval or a proto-modernist. To give Bacon full voice would involve taking the future that he envisaged as a normative benchmark for judging our own world
|Keywords||social epistemology counterfactuals history and philosophy of science underdetermination re-enactment overdetermination normative historiography|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
Frédéric Vandermoere & Raf Vanderstraeten (2012). Disciplinary Networks and Bounding: Scientific Communication Between Science and Technology Studies and the History of Science. [REVIEW] Minerva 50 (4):451-470.
R. G. A. Dolby (1996). Uncertain Knowledge: An Image of Science for a Changing World. Cambridge University Press.
Ivan A. Boldyrev (2012). Philosophy of Science or Science and Technology Studies? Economic Methodology and Auction Theory. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 26 (3):289-307.
Lorenz Krüger, Thomas Sturm, Wolfgang Carl & Lorraine Daston (eds.) (2005). Why Does History Matter to Philosophy and the Sciences? Walter DeGruyter.
Cassandra Pinnick & George Gale (2000). Philosophy of Science and History of Science: A Troubling Interaction. [REVIEW] Journal for General Philosophy of Science 31 (1):109-125.
David L. Hull (2000). The Professionalization of Science Studies: Cutting Some Slack. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 15 (1):61-91.
John Beatty & Isabel Carrera (2012). When What Had to Happen Was Not Bound to Happen: History, Chance, Narrative, Evolution. Journal of the Philosophy of History 5 (3):471-495.
Nancy L. Maull (1976). Reconstructed Science as Philosophical Evidence. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1976:119 - 129.
Lea F. Schweitz (2010). On the Road with Religion-and-Science and the Romance of the Past. Zygon 45 (2):443-447.
N. Tosh (2003). Anachronism and Retrospective Explanation: In Defence of a Present-Centred History of Science. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 34 (3):647-659.
Marga Vicedo (1992). Is the History of Science Relevant to the Philosophy of Science? PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:490 - 496.
Josh Parsons (2005). Truthmakers, the Past, and the Future. In Helen Beebee & Julian Dodd (eds.), Truthmakers: The Contemporary Debate. Clarendon.
Added to index2011-12-06
Total downloads14 ( #119,076 of 1,100,147 )
Recent downloads (6 months)8 ( #33,391 of 1,100,147 )
How can I increase my downloads?