Der vergleich AlS brücke zwischen wissenschaftsgeschichte und wissenschaftstheorie

Comparisons as a Bridge between History and Philosophy of Science. Both in history and philosophy of science, comparisons are looked upon with considerable skepticism. A widespread syndrome of casuitis, i.e., the tendency of historians of science to produce extremely narrow and local studies that do not present a case for any broader thesis of interest to philosophers, has widened the gulf between history and philosophy of science.This may be somewhat surprising to sociologists, philosophers, or general,legal and cultural historians, who have been using comparisons successfully for a long time–albeit not always without controversy. In the first part of this paper, I assess the status of comparisons in science studies, in order to explain why their systematic use is not nearly as natural as might elsewhere be expected. This critical section is followed by a very brief outline of the prerequisites for fruitful comparison as formulated by general and sociological historians in their detailed methodological discussions. To these are added some necessary conditions from the perspective of modern history of science. In the third part I present four examples of such systematic comparisons taken from my own research.
Keywords Vergleich mittlerer Reichweite  comparison of medium range  linksbetween history and philosophy of science  historiography  methodology
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