David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 23 (1):85-107 (2009)
In recent years there has been a revival of the debate about the relation between history and philosophy of science. This article seeks to contribute to the discussion by approaching the issue from a new angle. To rethink the relation between the two domains of study, I apply an important insight about scientific practice to the practice of integrating the history and philosophy of science: the insight that the scientific paper does not give a faithful account of the actual research pursued in the laboratory or in the field. Arguably, the scholarly article about science is also not a transparent window to the activity of producing such an article. But if it is not, we need to redirect our attention. If we want to understand the nature and merits of integrating the history and philosophy of science, we need to examine both the actual activity of integrating and the scholarly paper produced by it. To consider what one can learn from such an inquiry, I reflect on my own activity of studying scientific justification through the combination of historical and philosophical analysis. Probing a concrete historical episode, micro-anatomical research on the retina in the 19th century, I pursue two related questions, the first-order question, 'What exactly is scientific justification in the given case?' and the meta-question, 'How do I go about analysing justificatory practices?' I then characterise the nature of my analysis and consider what can be learned from the study of the practice of integrating the history and philosophy of science.
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References found in this work BETA
Bruno Latour (1987). Science in Action: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers Through Society. Harvard University Press.
John Rawls (2009/2005). A Theory of Justice. In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Philosophy and Rhetoric. Oxford University Press 133-135.
Ian Hacking (2002). Historical Ontology. Harvard University Press.
K. Knorr-Cetina (1981). The Manufacture of Knowledge: An Essay on the Constructivist and Contextual Nature of Science. Pergamon Press.
Arthur Donovan, Larry Laudan, Rachel Laudan & John Preston (1994). Scrutinizing Science: Empirical Studies of Scientific Change. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 45 (4):1063-1065.
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