David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 3 (2):147-152 (2000)
`Proto-idea' was a central concept in the thinking of the Polish microbiologist and philosopher of science Ludwik Fleck (1896â1961). Based on studies of the origin of the modern concept of syphilis, Fleck claimed that many established scientific facts are best understood as interpretations of pre scientific, somewhat hazy `proto-ideas' in the framework of a certain `thought-style'. As an example,Fleck saw the modern knowledge of infection as an interpretation of the ancient proto-idea of diseases as caused by minute `animalcules'. However, the epistemological aspects of the concept of proto-ideas have only been sparsely developed and discussed by Fleck and his critics. This paper attempts to bridge the gap. Firstly, I reconstruct the concept of proto-ideasin the context of Fleck's constructivist theory of knowledge. Secondly, I illustrate the relation between Fleck's concept of proto-ideas and his nominalist view on medical taxonomy. Finally, I discuss four philosophical problems implied by Fleck's concept of proto-ideas: (a) the problem of combining two conflicting perspectives on the history of science (b) the problem of accounting for the notion of` continuity' within a non realist theory of knowledge (c) the problem of ascribing no truth-content to proto-ideas, and (d) the problem concerning the non-neutrality of the analyst's viewpoint
|Keywords||constructivism Fleck medical epistemology medical taxonomy proto-ideas thought-collective thought-style|
|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
Melinda B. Fagan (2009). Fleck and the Social Constitution of Scientific Objectivity. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 40 (4):272-285.
Kathrin Friedrich (2010). 'Sehkollektiv': Sight Styles in Diagnostic Computed Tomography. [REVIEW] Medicine Studies 2 (3):185-195.
Similar books and articles
Claus Zittel (2012). Ludwik Fleck and the Concept of Style in the Natural Sciences. Studies in East European Thought 64 (1-2):53-79.
Alexander Peine (2011). Challenging Incommensurability: What We Can Learn From Ludwik Fleck for the Analysis of Configurational Innovation. Minerva 49 (4):489-508.
Kazem Sadegh-Zadeh (1981). World 5 and Medical Knowledge. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 6 (3):263-270.
Thaddeus J. Trenn (1981). Ludwik Fleck's 'on the Question of the Foundations of Medical Knowledge'. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 6 (3):237-256.
Nicola Mößner (2011). Thought Styles and Paradigms—a Comparative Study of Ludwik Fleck and Thomas S. Kuhn. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 42 (2):362–371.
Stig Brorson & Hanne Andersen (2001). Stabilizing and Changing Phenomenal Worlds: Ludwik Fleck and Thomas Kuhn on Scientific Literature. [REVIEW] Journal for General Philosophy of Science 32 (1):109-129.
Sofia Siwecka (2011). Genesis and Development of the “Medical Fact”. Thought Style and Scientific Evidence in the Epistemology of Ludwik Fleck. Dialogues in Philosophy, Mental and Neuro Sciences 4 (2):37-39.
David Stump (1988). The Role of Skill in Experimentation: Reading Ludwik Fleck's Study of the Wasserman Reaction as an Example of Ian Hacking's Experimental Realism. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:302 - 308.
Markus Seidel (2011). Relativism or Relationism? A Mannheimian Interpretation of Fleck's Claims About Relativism. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 42 (2):219-240.
Robert S. Cohen & Thomas Schnelle (1986). Cognition and Fact. Materials on Ludwik Fleck. D. Reidel Publishing Company.
Eva Hedfors (2006). The Reading of Ludwik Fleck: Questions of Sources and Impetus. Social Epistemology 20 (2):131 – 161.
Babette E. Babich (2003). From Fleck's Denkstil to Kuhn's Paradigm: Conceptual Schemes and Incommensurability. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 17 (1):75 – 92.
Johannes Fehr (2012). “… The Art of Shaping a Democratic Reality and Being Directed by It …”—Philososophy of Science in Turbulent Times. Studies in East European Thought 64 (1-2):81-89.
Michael Hagner (2012). Perception, Knowledge and Freedom in the Age of Extremes: On the Historical Epistemology of Ludwik Fleck and Michael Polanyi. [REVIEW] Studies in East European Thought 64 (1-2):107-120.
Stig Brorson (2006). The Seeds and the Worms: Ludwik Fleck and the Early History of Germ Theories. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 49 (1):64-76.
Added to index2010-08-31
Total downloads11 ( #135,063 of 1,098,619 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #173,848 of 1,098,619 )
How can I increase my downloads?