Rational Reconstruction Reconsidered

The Monist 93 (4):598-617 (2010)
Abstract
Here is a dilemma concerning the history of science. Can the history of scientific thought be reduced to the history of the beliefs, motives and actions of scientists? Or should we think of the history of scientific thought as in some sense independent from the history of scientists? The aim of this paper is to carve out an intermediate position between these two. I will argue that the history of scientific thought supervenes on, but not reducible to, the history of scientists. There is a legitimate level of description for analyzing the history of scientific thought that does not reduce to the individual level of scientists. Yet, every aspect of the history of scientific thought is determined by the actual motives and actions of individual scientists. Maybe surprisingly, I use Imre Lakatos’s controversial concept of the rational reconstruction of the history of science in order to argue for this intermediate position.
Keywords Lakatos  Rational reconstruction  History of science
Categories (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: 9,360
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2010-07-07

    Total downloads

    41 ( #34,903 of 1,089,047 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    6 ( #17,281 of 1,089,047 )

    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.