This article examines the communication networks within and between science and technology studies (STS) and the history of science. In particular, journal relatedness data are used to analyze some of the structural features of their disciplinary identities and relationships. The results first show that, although the history of science is more than half a century older than STS, the size of the STS network is more than twice that of the history of science network. Further, while (...) a majority of the journals in the STS network are connected by weak ties, about half of the history of science network consists of strong ties. The history of science network is thus more cohesive than the STS network. The relatively strong cohesion within the history of science network is associated with comparatively high degrees of intra-disciplinary communication, but comparatively weak ties to only a few related disciplines. The analysis also shows that very few members of the history of science cliques are situated on the shortest path between both specialties. Moreover, given the relatively impermeable nature of the history of science network, the latter partially depends on STS to reach some of the neighboring disciplines. (shrink)
This text will focus on the transformations of the practices and ideas of communication in recent history and in the context of the globalization. The lecture will examine first persuasion and then manipulation and seduction. These second issues are explained through the fact that in the context of the rise of mass as historical subject, conscience, and thus persuasion become obsolete. The approach examines the theoretical model of communication in this two historical contexts and concludes that a (...) partial sector of communication, "therapeutic communication", tends to model nowadays the process of communication as such. Based on the new practices and theoretical models of communication a new type of ideology appears, an ostensive one. (shrink)
Corporate crises call for effective communication to shelter or restore a company's reputation. The use of corporate social responsibility (CSR) claims may provide an effective tool to counter the negative impact of a crisis, but knowledge about its effectiveness is scarce and lacking in studies that consider CSR communication during crises. To help fill this gap, this study investigates whether the length of company's involvement in CSR matters when it uses CSR claims in its crisis communication as (...) a means to counter negative publicity. The use of CSR claims in crisis communication is more effective for companies with a long CSR history than for those with a short CSR history, and consumer skepticism about claims lies at the heart of this phenomenon. (shrink)
The emergence and development of the humanities were initially bound up with the spread of alphabetic writing, and subsequently with the development of printing; the original task of the nascent humanities disciplines was a thoroughly practical one: that of building up our knowledge about the characteristics of the new media with the aim of exploiting this knowledge in everyday life—for the sake of economic, educational, or political benefits. In particular, the beginnings of philosophy lead us back to the times of (...) the first emergence of alphabetic writing. There is no philosophy in a purely oral culture; Western philosophy is in the first instance, and remains down to the twentieth century, reflection on conceptual relations generated by written language. Today, the printed word is losing its position as the dominant vehicle of communication. Philosophy faces a new educational challenge: that of articulating the logic of multimedia information storage and exchange. (shrink)
Cet article a pour but de montrer comment le mouvement change le rôle de l'état dans les relations entre individus et Etat, influence le développement de l'écrit, transforme les identités et augmente les régulations internes et externes. Les conséquences du mouvement sont à la fois pratiques et formelles. La relation au temps et à l'espace s'en trouve affectée, tout comme les modes d'organisation et de pensée.
Challenging the assumption that the concept of divine action is necessarily paradoxical, on the grounds that God is radically transcendent of finitude, or can perform only a master act of creating and sustaining the universe, Frank Kirkpatrick defends as philosophically credible the Christian conviction that God is a personal Agent who also acts in particular historical moments to further the divine intention of fostering universal community. Kirkpatrick claims that God and the world are distinct realities "together bound" in a mutual (...) relationship of reciprocal historical action. In this relationship, God both acts upon and responds to human beings in specific moments in their history. The implications of this claim for understanding the biblical narrative, the problem of evil, cosmological theories, and the realism of Christian community are pursued. (shrink)
The article discusses two basic paradigms of western educational theory, namely the concept of “influence” and the concept of “development”. Two historical contextes are analyzed, John Locke's theory of human learning and Jean-Jacques Rousseau's theory of natural development. Both theories are rejected in favour of a position beyond “influence” and “development”. This position of a theory of education ( Erziehung ) is marked with the term “moral communication”.
I approach the philosophical analyses of the phenomenon of trust vis-à-vis online communication beginning with an overview from within the framework of computer-mediated communication (CMC) of concerns and paradigmatic failures of trust in the history of online communication. I turn to the more directly philosophical analyses of trust online by first offering an introductory taxonomy of diverse accounts of trust that have emerged over the past decade or so. In the face of important objections to the (...) possibility of establishing and fostering trust in online environments—objections that emerge especially from the perspective of virtue ethics and phenomenological approaches to how we know and navigate the world as embodied beings—I then take up three major arguments in recent work in favor of the possibilities of trust online, followed by three vicious circles that run counter to more optimistic views. I close with a summary of some additional reasons for optimism regarding trust online, followed by a final question that emerges out of recent CMC research on social networking sites that poses, I argue, fundamental challenges indeed to how we understand and may foster and experience trust online. (shrink)
As we enter a truly global epoch we need a historical awareness to match the times. This book offers a new scholarly perspective, a new historical consciousness, and a new sub-field of history—global history—that will have a major impact on the way we write history and make policy in the future. The need for a new approach can be seen everywhere: in environmental problems that ignore national boundaries, in nuclear threats that have no territorial limitations; in the (...) rapid increase in multi-national economic activity; and in advances in space exploration and communication satellites that link peoples to a degree hitherto unimagined. The contributors to this book offer both a theoretical treatment and a number of examples of what global history is and how it might be written.It is recognized that global history is not the only history that can or should be written, and that globalism is often matched by increased localism, thus requiring a keen sense of the dialectic involved. New actors need to be identified and studied on the historical stage, other than the nation state. Though global history is a form of contemporary history, starting from our present moment it must look backward, with the range depending on the problem. Thus, global history seeks to be methodologically sophisticated while pioneering a new way of thinking about history in the coming millenium. (shrink)
This volume of essays is an important introduction to the thought of one of the twentieth century's most significant yet underappreciated philosophers, Richard McKeon. The originator of philosophical pluralism, McKeon made extraordinary contributions to philosophy, to international relations, and to theory-formation in the communication arts, aesthetics, the organization of knowledge, and the practical sciences. This collection, which includes a philosophical autobiography as well as the out-of-print title essay "Freedom and History" and a previously unpublished essay on "Philosophic Semantics (...) and Philosophic Inquiry," is a testimony to the range and systematic power of McKeon's thinking for the social sciences and the humanities. (shrink)
When conducting research on sensitive topics, it is challenging to use new methods of data collection given the apprehensions of Institutional Review Boards (IRBs). This is especially worrying because sensitive topics of research often require novel approaches. In this article a brief personal history of navigating the IRB process for conducting sex communication research is presented, along with data from a survey that tested the assumptions long held by many IRBs. Results support some of the assumptions IRBs hold (...) about sex communication research, but do not support some other assumptions. (shrink)
The basic concepts 'person' (Person), I/self (Ich) and 'subject' (Subjekt) structuring the Russian discourse of personhood (Personalität) developed during the philosophical discussions of the 1820s-1840s. The development occurred in the course of an intense reception of German Idealism and Romanticism. Characteristic of this process is that the modern meaning of personhood going back to the theological and natural-law interpretations of the person in Western Europe does not exist in the Russian cultural consciousness. Therefore the Russian concepts of personhood demonstrate the (...) influence of the semantic innovations of Romanticism. Correspondingly, the semantic core of the Russian discourses on personhood is not the idea of an 'autonomous person' but that of an 'unique individuality'. Here, personhood is not the indefeasible attribute of every man, but the mark of inimitable individuality. Accordingly, the basic distinction underlying the discourse on personhood in Russia is not the differentiation between 'person' and ' thing' as in the European tradition, but the distinction between 'individual' and (anonymous) 'community'. Also, in the meaning of the concept of I/self the dominant differentiation is not that between I/self (Ich) and not-I/not-self (Nicht-Ich), but that between I and We. This discourse on personhood centring on the idea of individuality took form in Russia starting in the middle of the nineteenth century, in particular in aesthetics, psychology, and educational theory, as well as in the philosophy of history. The comparative intercultural analysis of the history of concepts pertaining to personhood in the German-Russian cultural transfer brings to light the dialectic of European modernity in which a degree of tension is visible between the idea of personal autonomy and individuality. (shrink)
Precursors of the linguistic turn: German philosophy of language in the late 19th century -- From text to discourse: a shift towards a pragmatic interpretation of "fictionality" -- Projecting a science of literature: on a theoretical basis for a rational science of literature -- The empirical science of literature ESL: a new paradigm -- From literary communication to literary systems -- Implementations: conventions and literary systems -- Unfinished business: literary history -- Changes in epistemology: media revisited -- Histories (...) and discourses: for an integrated communication science -- Aspects of media societies -- Advertising lessons for empirical aesthetics -- The self-organisation of human communication. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: -- Preface -- Acknowledgments -- Introduction, by Michael Weisberg and Jeffrey Kovac. -- 1 Trying to Understand, Making Bonds, by Roald Hoffmann -- Part 1: Chemical Reasoning and Explanation -- 2. Why Buy That Theory?, by Roald Hoffmann. -- 3. What Might Philosophy of Science Look Like If Chemists Built It?, by Roald Hoffmann -- 4. Unstable, by Roald Hoffmann -- 5. Nearly Circular Reasoning, by Roald Hoffmann -- 6. Ockham's Razor and Chemistry, by Roald Hoffmann, (...) Vladimir I. Minkin, and Barry K. Carpenter -- 7. Qualitative Thinking in the Age of Modern Computational Chemistry, or What Lionel Salem Knows, by Roald Hoffmann -- 8. Narrative, by Roald Hoffmann -- 9. Learning from Molecules in Distress, by Roald Hoffmann and Henning Hopf -- 10. Why Think Up New Molecules? by Roald Hoffmann -- 11. Protean, by Roald Hoffmann and Pierre Laszlo -- 12. How Should Chemists Think? by Roald Hoffmann -- Part 2: Writing and Communicating in Chemistry -- 13. Under the Surface of the Chemical Article, by Roald Hoffmann -- 14. Representation in Chemistry, by Roald Hoffmann and Pierre Laszlo -- 15.. The Say of Things, by Roald Hoffmann and Pierre Laszlo -- 16. How Symbolic and Iconic Languages Bridge the Two Worlds of the Chemist: A Case Study from Contemporary Bioorganic Chemistry, by Emily R. Grosholz and Roald Hoffmann -- 17 How Nice to Be an Outsider, by Roald Hoffmann -- 18. The Metaphor, Unchained, by Roald Hoffmann, -- Part 3: Art and Science -- 19. Art in Science? by Roald Hoffmann -- 20. Science and Crafts by Roald Hoffmann -- 21. Molecular Beauty, by Roald Hoffmann -- Part 4 Chemical Education -- 22. Teach to Search by Roald Hoffmann -- 23. Some Heretical Thoughts on What Our Students Are Telling Us, by Roald Hoffmann and Brian P. Coppola -- 24 Very Specific Teaching Strategies, and Why They Work, by Roald Hoffmann and Saundra Y. McGuire -- Part 5 Ethics in Science -- 25. Mind the Shade, by Roald Hoffmann -- 26. Science and Ethics: A Marriage of Necessity and Choice for this Millennium," by Roald Hoffmann -- 27. Honesty to the Singular Object, by Roald Hoffmann -- 28. The Material and Spiritual Rationales Are Inseparable, by Roald Hoffmann -- Index. (shrink)
Gianni Vattimo, the Italian philosopher and politician, has argued that the end of colonialism and imperialism and the rise of the society of mass communication have contributed to the emergence of the postmodern. Modernity‘s unilinear conception of history is no longer possible in the face of multiple cultures and subcultures coming to the microphone across countries in the West. This article considers this view in the light of the problematizing comments made by the philosopher Slavoj Žižek on the (...) nature of culture – that it is something people do not take seriously and therefore people do not regard science as a culture. If science is apart from culture, then modernity can continue as the grand narrative of the increasing rationalisation of humankind as shown by the emancipating effects of science expressed through technology. Resources from Vattimo‘s broader philosophical programme are drawn upon to argue that not taking culture seriously is a postmodern condition and that science is cultural. (shrink)
Darwin the writer -- Learning to see : Darwin's prophetic apprenticeship on the Beagle voyage -- The prose of On the origin of species -- Surprise and paradox : Darwin's artful legacy -- Darwinian mind and Wildean paradox -- Hardy's Woodlanders and the Darwinian grotesque -- Coda : the comic Darwin.
This article probes the relationship between archives and history by examining the archive policy on historical research in the first modern administration state of the German lands, the kingdom of Bavaria. Given the continuing tradition of the theory and practice of the arcana imperii in the 19th century, state archives served first and foremost the state. As a result, researchers’ interest in archival material was to undergo an administrative vetting procedure, in order to safeguard the interests of the state. (...) By examining comparatively the cases of two petitioners supplicating for the historical use of state archives in Munich, the article showcases the policy of secrecy and the resultant administrative threshold separating the sphere of the arcana from the public. Caution guided the archive politics of state officials and, ultimately, their more or less explicit notions and concerns decided which material was finally to be released, in order to become a ‘source’ for historical study. Historical researchers such as the writer Alessandro Volpi and the historian August Kluckhohn were thus required to meet specific criteria and to overcome political hurdles, in order to gain access to the desired clues guarded by the state. As a result of this, the opportunity to inspect archival material was very much dependent on the political communication between petitioner and government, and its result, the granting or denial of access, was not without ramifications for historical research and the epistemic status of historical knowledge. (shrink)
The post-Civil War American natural history craze spawned a new institution -- the natural history dealer -- that has failed to receive the historical attention it deserves. The individuals who created these enterprises simultaneously helped to promote and hoped to profit from the burgeoning interest in both scientific and popular specimen collecting. At a time when other employment and educational prospects in natural history were severely limited, hundreds of dealers across the nation provided encouragement, specimens, publication outlets, (...) training opportunities, and jobs for naturalists of all motivations and levels of expertise. This paper explores the crucial role that specimen dealers played in the larger natural history community. After briefly examining the development of local taxidermy shops in the mid-nineteenth century, it then traces the history of four large natural history dealerships established in the United States during the latter half of the century: Ward's Natural History Establishment, Frank Blake Webster's Naturalists' Supply Depot, Southwick & Jencks' Natural History Store, and Frank H. Lattin & Co. By the early twentieth century, changing tastes in interior design, the growth of the Audubon movement, and the dramatic expansion of alternate training and job opportunities for naturalists led many specimen dealers either to shift their emphasis or to shut their doors. (shrink)
The linguafranca, or Mediterranean pidgin, was spoken by sailors and merchants that sailed the Mediterranean Sea during centuries. This pidgin borrowed terms from languages such as: Castilian and Catalan, French and Provencal (Occitanian language), Italian, Genovese, and Venetian. Moreover, words of Arabic and Neogreek origins were added to al1 this common mass. So, this lingua is a great interesting resource to deal with the study of the Spanish naval histoy in the Mediterranean Sea from 12" to 13" century, when its (...) usage started to vanish. From 16" century on, it started to be spoken in America. This common language, between Romance language nations, only uses the infinitive verb for al1 tenses and modes of verb's conjugation. Nowadays, there are terms that still remain in sailors' language such as wind names: leveche, jaloque, maestral or mistral, tramontana; meteorological phenomena names: bórea or boria; and nomenclature for typical crafts: paramola, escálamo, car, batallol, laud or llaüt, latino. (shrink)
Lacepède was a key figure in the French intellectual world from the Old Regime to the Restoration, since he was not only a scientist, but also a musician, a writer, and a politician. His brilliant career is a good example of the progress of the social status of scientists in France around 1800. In the life sciences, he was considered the heir to Buffon and continued the latter's Histoire naturelle, but he also borrowed ideas from anti-Buffonian (e.g. Linnaean) scientists. He (...) broached many important subjects such as the nature of man, the classification of animals, the concept of species, and the history of the Earth. All these topics led to tensions in the French sciences, but Lacepède dealt with them in a consensual, indeed even ambiguous way. For example, he held transformist views, but his concept of evolution was far less precise and daring than Lamarck's contemporaneous attempts. His somewhat confused eclecticism allowed him to be accepted by opposing camps of the French scientific community at that time and makes his case interesting for historians, since the opinions of such an opportunistic figure can illuminate the figure of the French intellectual better than more original works could do. In turn, Lacepède's important social and scientific position gave his views a significant visibility. In this sense, his contributions probably exerted an influence, in particular with regard to the emergence of transformist theories. (shrink)
I examine the consistency of Kant's notion of moral progress as found in his philosophy of history. To many commentators, Kant's very idea of moral development has seemed inconsistent with basic tenets of his critical philosophy. This idea has seemed incompatible with his claims that the moral law is unconditionally and universally valid, that moral agency is noumenal and atemporal, and that all humans are equally free. Against these charges, I argue not only that Kant's notion of moral development (...) is consistent, but also that the assumption of the possibility of moral progress is indispensible for Kant's moral theory. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to argue that Kant's philosophy of biology has crucial implications for our understanding of his philosophy of history, and that overlooking these implications leads to a fundamental misconstruction of his views. More precisely, I will show that Kant's philosophy of history is modelled on his philosophy of biology due to the fact that the development of the human species shares a number of peculiar features with the functioning of organisms, these features entailing (...) important methodological characteristics. From this main claim will follow three further claims: (1) Kant's teleological view of history is not simply based on ethical considerations that have to do with the moral progress of the human species; rather, it stems from his conception of teleology as developed in his philosophy of biology. (2) Kant's philosophy of history allows for the practice of scientific history. In this sense, Kant's view of history is not merely teleological but involves a mechanical (and thus empirical) element. (3) Just as teleology is useful for furthering mechanical accounts of biological phenomena, teleological history is useful for scientific history. (shrink)
Analytic philosophers are often said to be indifferent or even hostile to the history of philosophy--that is, not to the idea of history of philosophy as such, but as a species of the genus philosophy rather than history. It is argued that such an attitude is actually inconsistent with commonplace positions within the philosophies of mind that are typical within analytic philosophy.
What are the relationships between philosophy and the history of philosophy, the history of science and the philosophy of science? This selection of essays by Lorenz Krüger (1932-1994) presents exemplary studies on the philosophy of John Locke and Immanuel Kant, on the history of physics and on the scope and limitations of scientific explanation, and a realistic understanding of science and truth. In his treatment of leading currents in 20th century philosophy, Krüger presents new and original arguments (...) for a deeper understanding of the continuity and dynamics of the development of scientific theory. These result in significant consequences for the claim of the sciences that they understand reality in a rational manner. The case studies are complemented by fundamental thoughts on the relationship between philosophy, science, and their common history. (shrink)
I show the sense in which the concept of history as a human science affects our theory of the natural sciences and, therefore, our theory of the unity of the physical and human sciences. The argument proceeds by way of reviewing the effect of the Darwinian contribution regarding teleologism and of post-Darwinian paleonanthropology on the transformation of the primate members of Homo sapiens into societies of historied selves. The strategy provides a novel way of recovering the unity of the (...) sciences: by construing the physical sciences themselves as human sciences - and, therefore, as themselves historied. (shrink)
Greek, Indian and Arabic Logic marks the initial appearance of the multi-volume Handbook of the History of Logic. Additional volumes will be published when ready, rather than in strict chronological order. Soon to appear are The Rise of Modern Logic: From Leibniz to Frege. Also in preparation are Logic From Russell to Gödel, The Emergence of Classical Logic, Logic and the Modalities in the Twentieth Century, and The Many-Valued and Non-Monotonic Turn in Logic. Further volumes will follow, including Mediaeval (...) and Renaissance Logic and Logic: A History of its Central. In designing the Handbook of the History of Logic, the Editors have taken the view that the history of logic holds more than an antiquarian interest, and that a knowledge of logic's rich and sophisticated development is, in various respects, relevant to the research programmes of the present day. Ancient logic is no exception. The present volume attests to the distant origins of some of modern logic's most important features, such as can be found in the claim by the authors of the chapter on Aristotle's early logic that, from its infancy, the theory of the syllogism is an example of an intuitionistic, non-monotonic, relevantly paraconsistent logic. Similarly, in addition to its comparative earliness, what is striking about the best of the Megarian and Stoic traditions is their sophistication and originality. Logic is an indispensably important pivot of the Western intellectual tradition. But, as the chapters on Indian and Arabic logic make clear, logic's parentage extends more widely than any direct line from the Greek city states. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that for centuries logic has been an unfetteredly international enterprise, whose research programmes reach to every corner of the learned world. Like its companion volumes, Greek, Indian and Arabic Logic is the result of a design that gives to its distinguished authors as much space as would be needed to produce highly authoritative chapters, rich in detail and interpretative reach. The aim of the Editors is to have placed before the relevant intellectual communities a research tool of indispensable value. Together with the other volumes, Greek, Indian and Arabic Logic, will be essential reading for everyone with a curiosity about logic's long development, especially researchers, graduate and senior undergraduate students in logic in all its forms, argumentation theory, AI and computer science, cognitive psychology and neuroscience, linguistics, forensics, philosophy and the history of philosophy, and the history of ideas. (shrink)
Abstract In this essay I trace the role of history in the philosophy of art from the early twentieth century to the present, beginning with the rejection of history by formalists like Clive Bell. I then attempt to show how the arguments of people like Morris Weitz and Arthur Danto led to a re-appreciation of history by philosophers of art such as Richard Wollheim, Jerrold Levinson, Robert Stecker and others.
To date, no satisfactory account of the connection between natural-scientific and historical explanation has been given, and philosophers seem to have largely given up on the problem. This paper is an attempt to resolve this old issue and to sort out and clarify some areas of historical explanation by developing and applying a method that will be called “pragmatic explication” involving the construction of definitions that are justified on pragmatic grounds. Explanations in general can be divided into “dynamic” and “static” (...) explanations, which are those that essentially require relations across time and those that do not, respectively. The problem of assimilating historical explanations concerns dynamic explanation, so a general analysis of dynamic explanation that captures both the structure of natural-scientific and historical explanation is offered. This is done in three stages: In the first stage, pragmatic explication is introduced and compared to other philosophical methods of explication. In the second stage pragmatic explication is used to tie together a series of definitions that are introduced in order to establish an account of explanation. This involves an investigation of the conditions that play the role in historiography that laws and statistical regularities play in the natural sciences. The essay argues that in the natural sciences, as well as in history, the model of explanation presented represents the aims and overarching structure of actual causal explanations offered in those disciplines. In the third stage the system arrived at in the preceding stage is filled in with conditions available to and relevant for historical inquiry. Further, the nature and treatment of causes in history and everyday life are explored and related to the system being proposed. This in turn makes room for a view connecting aspects of historical explanation and what we generally take to be causal relations. (shrink)
This dissertation is an analysis of the development of dialectic and argumentation theory in post-classical Islamic intellectual history. The central concerns of the thesis are; treatises on the theoretical understanding of the concept of dialectic and argumentation theory, and how, in practice, the concept of dialectic, as expressed in the Greek classical tradition, was received and used by five communities in the Islamic intellectual camp. It shows how dialectic as an argumentative discourse diffused into five communities (theologicians, poets, grammarians, (...) philosophers and jurists) and how these local dialectics that the individual communities developed fused into a single system to form a general argumentation theory (adab al-bahth) applicable to all fields. I evaluate a treatise by Shams al-Din Samarqandi (d.702/1302), the founder of this general theory, and the treatises that were written after him as a result of his work. I concentrate specifically on work by 'Ad}ud al-Din al-Iji (d.756/1355), Sayyid Sharif al-Jurjani (d.816/1413), Taşköprüzâde (d.968/1561), Saçaklızâde (d.1150/1737) and Gelenbevî (d.1205/1791) and analyze how each writer (from Samarqandi to Gelenbevî) altered the shape of argumentative discourse and how later intellectuals in the post-classical Islamic world responded to that discourse bequeathed by their predecessors. What is striking about the period that this dissertation investigates (from 1300-1800) is the persistence of what could be called the linguistic turn in argumentation theory. After a centuries-long run, the jadal-based dialectic of the classical period was displaced by a new argumentation theory, which was dominantly linguistic in character. This linguistic turn in argumentation dates from the final quarter of the fourteenth century in Iji's impressively prescient work on 'ilm al-wad'. This idea, which finally surfaced in the post-classical period, that argumentation is about definition and that, therefore, defining is the business of language—even perhaps, that language is the only available medium for understanding and being understood—affected the way that argumentation theory was processed throughout most of the period in question.The argumentative discourse that started with Ibn al-Rawandi in the third/ninth century left a permanent imprint on Islamic intellectual history, which was then full of concepts, terminology and objectives from this discourse up until the late nineteenth century. From this perspective, Islamic intellectual history can be read as the tension between two languages: the "language of dialectic" (jadal) and the "language of demonstration" (burhan), each of which refer not only to a significant feature of that history, but also to a feature that could dramatically alter the interpretation of that history. (shrink)
Although first published in 1969, the methodological views advanced in Quentin Skinner's “Meaning and Understanding in the History of Ideas” remain relevant today. In his article Skinner suggests that it would be inappropriate to even attempt to write the history of any idea or concept. In support of this view, Skinner advances two arguments, one derived from the philosophy of the later Wittgenstein and the other from that of J. L. Austin. In this paper I focus on the (...) first of these arguments. I claim that the conclusion which Skinner draws from this particular argument does not necessarily follow and that an alternative assessment of the methodological significance of Wittgenstein's philosophy for historians of ideas is possible. On this alternative view, far from ruling out conceptual history, an appeal to the view of meaning set out in Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations leads to a quite different conclusion, namely that the writing of such a history is arguably a necessary precondition for the elucidation of the meaning of a number of the core concepts in the canon of the history of political thought. Skinner's views have changed somewhat since 1969. Indeed, from the mid 1970s onwards he came to relax the strict opposition to the idea of conceptual history to which he was then committed. The paper concludes by noting that this evolution in Skinner's thinking has made him much more sympathetic than anybody reading “Meaning and Understanding in the History of Ideas” would have imagined to the research project of the Begriffgeschichte School of conceptual history. (shrink)
In this paper, I enquire whether there are Kuhnian paradigms in medicine, by way of analysing a case study from the history of medicine—the discovery of the germ theory of disease in the nineteenth century. I investigate the Kuhnian aspects of this event by comparing the work of the famous school of microbiology founded by Robert Koch with a rival school, powerful in the nineteenth century, but now almost forgotten, founded by Carl Nageli. Through my case study, I show (...) that medical science possesses some Kuhnian features. Within each school, scientists used similar exemplars and shared the same assumptions. Moreover, their research was resistant to novelty, and the results of one party were disregarded by the other. In other words, in a moderate sense, the Koch and Nageli groups worked within distinct paradigms. However, I reject the stronger Kuhnian claim that the terms used within the two paradigms were mutually unintelligible. Focusing on the semantic aspects, I argue that no account of incommensurability of reference can be given in this case, although, for sociological reasons, the two parties talked past each other. I suggest in addition that the rival scientists could have understood each other more easily if their theoretical commitments had not been so deeply ingrained, and I use the example of Pasteur to indicate that the causal account of meaning might have avoided the communication breakdown. (shrink)
One of the most influential and significant developments in the philosophy of language over the last thirty years has been the rise of externalist conceptions of content. This essay aims to explore the implications of a form of externalism, largely derived from the work of Donald Davidson, for thinking about history, and in so doing to suggest one way in which contemporary philosophy of language may engage with contemporary philosophy of history. Much of the discussion focuses on the (...) elaboration of the externalism that is at issue, along with the holistic approach to content with which it is connected. It will be argued that such holistic externalism is itself thoroughly in keeping with the very character of historical inquiry itself, and can be seen to provide an underpinning to certain contemporary developments in historical thinking. (shrink)
Contemporary caution against anachronism in intellectual history, and the currently momentous theoretical emphasis on subjectivity in the philosophy of mind, are two prevailing conditions that set puzzling constraints for studies in the history of philosophical psychology. The former urges against assuming ideas, motives, and concepts that are alien to the historical intellectual setting under study, and combined with the latter suggests caution in relying on our intuitions regarding subjectivity due to the historically contingent characterizations it has attained in (...) contemporary philosophy of mind. In the face of these conditions, our paper raises a question of what we call non-textual (as opposed to contextual) standards of interpretation of historical texts, and proceeds to explore subjectivity as such a standard. Non-textual standards are defined as (heuristic) postulations of features of the world or our experience of it that we must suppose to be immune to historical variation in order to understand a historical text. Although the postulation of such standards is often so obvious that the fact of our doing so is not noticed at all, we argue that the problems in certain special cases, such as that of subjectivity, force us to pay attention to the methodological questions involved. Taking into account both recent methodological discussion and the problems inherent in two de facto denials of the relevance of subjectivity for historical theories, we argue that there are good grounds for the adoption of subjectivity as a non-textual standard for historical work in philosophical psychology. (shrink)
Philosophers' reflections on history have been dominated for decades by two themes: representation and memory. On both of these accounts, historical inquiry is divided by a certain gap from what it seeks to find or wants to know, and its activity is seen by philosophers as that of bridging this gap. Against this background, the concept of experience, in spite of its apparent rootedness in the present, can be revived as a means of thinking about our connection to the (...) past. After examining variants on the concept of experience, with special attention to its temporality, I argue in this essay that experience can be said to furnish a connection to the past that underlies both memory and representation. (shrink)
Abstract Contrary to most modern interpretations, in the early modern period, history was an indispensable resource for many philosophers. The different uses of history by Bacon, Gassendi, Locke, and Hume are explored to establish the role of history as a resource in early-modern philosophy.
From the time of our first communication, some thirty years ago, Fred Dallmayr and I have never ceased to disagree about key foundational issues in social and political theory. Our disagreements are not haphazard but consistent; they might be characterized roughly as stemming from the differences between his brand of hermeneutics and my brand of critical theory, or between his sources of inspiration in Hegel and Heidegger and my own in Kant and Habermas. But they are also “reasonable disagreements” (...) that allow for considerable “overlapping consensus” on both methodological and substantive issues. Thus we overlapped sufficiently on questions concerning the role of interpretive understanding in social inquiry to co-edit an anthology on that topic very early on.1 And I want to suggest here that we now overlap sufficiently on the idea of multicultural cosmopolitanism to make our ongoing conversation continually fruitful despite the persistent differences in our “comprehensive doctrines.” Those differences do entail, however, that we follow widely diverging paths before arriving in the same region of the political-theoretical world. And they likely also mean that we are relying on different maps of this region and of the roads leading beyond it as well. But I shall confine my remarks here to charting an alternative route to the sort of global and plural democracy that Dallmayr has set out in a series of recent works.2 It is a route that leads from Kant’s idea for a universal history from a cosmopolitan point of view, through Habermas’s conceptions of social evolution and a postnational constellation, to a sketch of multicultural cosmopolitanism that bears strong affinities to Dallmayr’s vision of “our world.” I Though the genre of universal history to which Kant gave exemplary expression was deeply implicated in colonial domination and exploitation, it cannot simply be discarded in favor of genealogical or other broadly deconstructive modes of historical.. (shrink)