Analytic philosophy is sometimes said to have particularly close connections to logic and to science, and no particularly interesting or close relation to its own history. It is argued here that although the connections to logic and science have been important in the development of analytic philosophy, these connections do not come close to characterizing the nature of analytic philosophy, either as a body of doctrines or as a philosophical method. We will do better (...) to understand analytic philosophy—and its relationship to continental philosophy—if we see it as a historically constructed collection of texts, which define its key problems and concerns. It is true, however, that analytic philosophy has paid little attention to the history of the subject. This is both its strength—since it allows for a distinctive kind of creativity—and its weakness—since ignoring history can encourage a philosophical variety of “normal science.”. (shrink)
Science at the Frontiers brings new voices to the study of the history and philosophy of science. it supplements current literature on these fields, highlighting sciences that are overlooked by the current literature and viewing classic problems in the field from new perspectives.
This paper describes an attempt to introduce philosophy and history of science to pre-service science teachers. I argue briefly for the view that science in the schools cannot be taught without implicitly assuming a particular philosophy of science. Therefore, both philosophy and history of science are necessary components of undergraduate science education courses.
History, Philosophy and Science Teaching argues that science teaching and science teacher education can be improved if teachers know something of the history and philosophy of science and if these topics are included in the science curriculum. The history and philosophy of science have important roles in many of the theoretical issues that science educators need to address: the goals of science education; what constitutes an appropriate (...)science curriculum for all students; how science should be taught in traditional cultures; what integrated science is; how scientific literacy can be promoted; and the conflict which can occur between science curriculum and deep-seated religious or cultural values and knowledge. In part, answers to these questions hinge on views about the nature of science, views that are best informed by historical and philosophical study. Outlining the history of liberal, or contextual, approaches to the teaching of science, Michael Matthews elaborates contemporary curriculum developments that explicitly address questions about the nature and the history of science. He provides examples of classroom teaching and develops useful arguments on constructivism, multicultural science education and teacher education. The book will appeal to school and university science teachers, educators of science teachers, and historians and philosophers of science. (shrink)
Wolf's study represents an incredible work of scholarship. A full and detailed account of three centuries of innovation, these two volumes provide a complete portrait of the foundations of modern science and philosophy. Tracing the origins and development of the achievements of the modern age, it is the story of the birth and growth of the modern mind. A thoroughly comprehensive sourcebook, it deals with all the important developments in science and many of the innovations in the (...) social sciences, British and Continental philosophy and psychology. Wolf's exposition is clear and accessible. As well as its comprehensive treatment of the practical innovations, it includes a wealth of biographical information to give a human aspect to the extensive canvas. A mine of useful information that will be repeatedly used for reference, it is also lavishishly illustrated throughout. These two volumes, published together for the first time, present in one invaluable source the history, methods and principles that form the foundations of science and philosophy. --covers both the major and minor figures in the history of science and philosophy --accessible to the general reader --provides all necessary information on the period immediately before and after the dates covered --both volumes are fully indexed --lavishly illustrated with over 660 portraits, diagrams of scientific apparatus and instruments, frontispieces, B&W photographs Abraham Wolf (1877-1948) other works include: The Oldest Biography of Spinoza (1927), The Philosophy of Nietzsche (1915). (shrink)
Hasok Chang (Science & Education 20:317–341, 2011) shows how the recovery of past experimental knowledge, the physical replication of historical experiments, and the extension of recovered knowledge can increase scientific understanding. These activities can also play an important role in both science and history and philosophy of science education. In this paper I describe the implementation of an integrated learning project that I initiated, organized, and structured to complement a course in history and (...) class='Hi'>philosophy of the life sciences (HPLS). The project focuses on the study and use of descriptions, observations, experiments, and recording techniques used by early microscopists to classify various species of water flea. The first published illustrations and descriptions of the water flea were included in the Dutch naturalist Jan Swammerdam’s, Historia Insectorum Generalis (1669) (Algemeene verhandeling van de bloedeloose dierkens. t’Utrrecht, Meinardus van Dreunen, ordinaris Drucker van d’Academie). After studying these, we first used the descriptions, techniques, and nomenclature recovered to observe, record, and classify the specimens collected from our university ponds. We then used updated recording techniques and image-based keys to observe and identify the specimens. The implementation of these newer techniques was guided in part by the observations and records that resulted from our use of the recovered historical methods of investigation. The series of HPLS labs constructed as part of this interdisciplinary project provided a space for students to consider and wrestle with the many philosophical issues that arise in the process of identifying an unknown organism and offered unique learning opportunities that engaged students’ curiosity and critical thinking skills. (shrink)
Since antiquity well into the beginnings of the 20th century geometry was a central topic for philosophy. Since then, however, most philosophers of science, if they took notice of topology at all, considered it as an abstruse subdiscipline of mathematics lacking philosophical interest. Here it is argued that this neglect of topology by philosophy may be conceived of as the sign of a conceptual sea-change in philosophy of science that expelled geometry, and, more generally, mathematics, (...) from the central position it used to have in philosophy of science and placed logic at center stage in the 20th century philosophy of science. Only in recent decades logic has begun to loose its monopoly and geometry and topology received a new chance to find a place in philosophy of science. (shrink)
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)
This article critically examines the views that psychology ?rst came into existence as a discipline ca. 1879, that philosophy and psychology were estranged in the ensuing decades, that psychology ?nally became scienti?c through the in?uence of logical empiricism, and that it should now disappear in favor of cognitive science and neuroscience. It argues that psychology had a natural philosophical phase (from antiquity) that waxed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, that this psychology transformed into experimental psychology ca. 1900, (...) that philosophers and psychologists collaboratively discussed the subject matter and methods of psychology in the ?rst two decades of the twentieth century, that the neobehaviorists were not substantively in?uenced by the Vienna Circle, that the study of perception and cognition in psy- chology did not disappear in the behaviorist period and so did not reemerge as a result of arti?cial intelligence, linguistics, and the computer analogy, that although some psychologists adopted the language-of-thought approach of traditional cognitive science, many did not, and that psychology will not go away because it contributes independently of cognitive science and neuroscience. (shrink)
In the course of the history of science, some concepts have forged theoretical foundations, constituting paradigms that hold sway for substantial periods of time. Research on the history of explanations of the action of one body on another is a testament to the periodic revival of one theory in particular, namely, the theory of ether. Even after the foundation of modern Physics, the notion of ether has directly and indirectly withstood the test of time. Through a spontaneous (...) physics philosophical analysis, this article will explore how certain aspects of the concept of ether have appeared in different branches of the history of science. (shrink)
History and philosophy complement and overlap each other in subject matter, but the two disciplines exhibit conflict over methodology. Since Hempel's challenge to historians that they should adopt the covering law model of explanation, the methodological conflict has revolved around the respective roles of the general and the particular in each discipline. In recent years, the revival of narrativism in history, coupled with the trend in philosophy of science to rely upon case studies, joins the (...) methodological conflict anew. So long as contemporary philosophy of science relies upon history's methodology to construct its case studies, it subjects itself to a paradoxical situation: the better the history, the worse the philosophy. An example of the methodological conflict is presented in the case of Antoine Lavoisier. This example also serves our ultimateconclusion, which is that distinctively philosophical methods of case-study design promise enhanced prescriptive powers for philosophy of science. (shrink)
At issue in this paper is the question of the appropriate relationship between the philosophy and history of science. The discussion starts with a brief sketch of Kuhn's approach, followed by an analysis of the so-called 'testing-theories-of-scientific-change programme'. This programme is an attempt at a more rigorous approach to the historical philosophy of science. Since my conclusion is that, by and large, this attempt has failed, I proceed to examine some more promising approaches. First, I (...) deal with Hacking's recent views on the issues in question, particularly his notion of a 'style of reasoning'. Next, Nickle's reconstructionist interpretation of the development of science and his views on Whig history are addressed. Finally, I propose an account of philosophy as a theoretical, an interpretative and explanatory, enterprise. Thus, three alternatives to the Kuhnian paradigm are discussed, alternatives that share a recognition of the relative autonomy of philosophy from history. Hence, they assume a less tight relationship between philosophy and history of science than is the case within the Kuhnian paradigm. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: List of figures. -- Acknowledgments. -- Introduction. -- Part One: Fundamental Issues. -- Part Two: The Transition from the Aristotelian Worldview to the Newtonian Worldview. -- Part Three: Recent Developments in Science and Worldviews. -- Chapter Notes and Suggested Reading. -- References. -- Index.
The Philosophy of R.G. Collingwood W. J. Van Der Dussen. Collingwood's conclusion is that " ... science, even at its best, always falls short of understanding the facts as they really are"88. Only history is able to realize this. It is another ...
This paper analyzes the claim that the Left Vienna Circle (LVC) offers a theoretical and historical precedent for a politically engaged philosophy of science today. I describe the model for a political philosophy of science advanced by LVC historians. They offer this model as a moderate, properly philosophical approach to political philosophy of science that is rooted in the analytic tradition. This disciplinary-historical framing leads to weaknesses in LVC scholars' conception of the history (...) of the LVC and its contemporary relevance. In this light, I examine the claim that there are productive enrichments to be gained from the engagement of feminist philosophy of science with the LVC, finding this claim ill-formulated. The case of LVC historiography and feminist philosophy of science presents a revealing study in the uses and ethics of disciplinary history, showing how feminist and other perspectives are misconceived and marginalized by forms of disciplinary self-narrativizing. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. (shrink)
This article critical examines Mirowski's recent article in SHPS. I argue that his externalist history of the philosophy of science is unacceptable to philosophers' own understanding of their field and practice.
Using as a case study the forensic comparison of images for purposes of identification, this essay considers how the history, philosophy and sociology of science might help courts to improve their responses to scientific and technical forms of expert opinion evidence in ways that are more consistent with legal system goals and values. It places an emphasis on the need for more sophisticated models of science and expertise that are capable of helping judges to identify sufficiently (...) reliable types of expert evidence and to reflexively incorporate the weakness of trial safeguards and personnel into their admissibility decision making. (shrink)
The very idea of a general philosophy of science relies on the assumption that there is this thing called science—as opposed to the various individual sciences. In this programmatic piece I make a case for the claim that general philosophy of science is the philosophy of science in general or science as such. Part of my narrative makes use of history, for two reasons. First, general philosophy of science is (...) itself characterised by an intellectual tradition which aimed to develop a coherent philosophical view of science, qua a part of culture with distinctive epistemic features and a distinctive relation to reality. But, second, this tradition went through some important conceptual shifts which re-oriented it and made it more sensitive to the actual development of science itself. The historical narrative focuses on three such moments: the defining moment, associated with Aristotle, and two major conceptual turns, related to Kant and Duhem. The pressures on the very idea of a general philosophy of science that followed the collapse of the macro-models of science that became popular in the 1960s, the pressures that lay all of the emphasis on fragmentation and not on integration, can be dealt with by a new synthesis within general philosophy of science of the constitutive and the historical, in light of the intellectual tradition that has defined it. (shrink)
The report gives a survey of the Hungarian philosophy of science after 1973. The report throws some light on the history of Hungarian philosophy in the context of the political circumstances of the late sixties and seventies. It starts with the not so well-known history of 'persecution of philosophers' in 1973. Then it treats the emergence of the philosophy of science focussing on the most significant representatives of this branch of philosophy, which (...) was up to that time almost unknown in Hungary. Due to the fact that the important results in Hungarian philosophy of science run parallel with the reception and translation of the significant products of Western philosophy, such as Wittgenstein's, Popper's, Kuhn's, or Polanyi's works, the report gives relatively significant room to treat these achievements. The last part of the report presents a survey of the younger generation of the philosophers of science, concentrating on the most important insights. (shrink)
This essay is a case study of the self-destruction that occurs in the work of a social-constructionist historian of science who embraces a radical philosophy of science. It focuses on Thomas Laqueur's Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud in arguing that a history of science committed to the social construction of science and to the central theses of Kuhnian, Duhemian, and Quinean philosophy of science is incoherent through self-reference. (...) Laqueur's text is examined in detail in order to make the main point; a similar phenomenon in the work of the feminist historian of science Evelyn Fox Keller is then briefly discussed. (shrink)
Abstract Science and technology studies (STS) has perhaps provided the most ambitious set of challenges to the boundary separating history and philosophy of science since the 19th century idealists and positivists. STS is normally associated with `social constructivism', which when applied to history of science highlights the malleability of the modal structure of reality. Specifically, changes to what is (e.g. by the addition or removal of ideas or things) implies changes to what has been, (...) can be and might be. Latour's account of Pasteur's scientific achievement is a case in point. Two polar attitudes towards the world's modal malleability are identified: over - and under - determination, which correspond, respectively, to a belief in the inevitability and the precariousness of science as a form of knowledge. The distinctness of these positions reflects a cordon sanitaire between the history and the philosophy of science. Consequently, historical agents are not given full voice as constructors of reality: They are either quarantined to a foreign realm called `the past' by the historian or selectively assimilated to an imperial present by the philosopher. The second half of the essay explores what it might mean to restore a robust sense of reality construction to the historical agents. My case in point here is that of the 13th century Franciscan friar, Roger Bacon, who has been alternatively seen as a mad medieval or a proto-modernist. To give Bacon full voice would involve taking the future that he envisaged as a normative benchmark for judging our own world. (shrink)
The International Union of History and Philosophy of Science organizing the 10th International Congress of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science is at its cross-road: the alternative is mass-performance or creative exchange of ideas. The program is criticized because the thematic center in History and Philosophy of Science has been shifted too far into the realm of micro-fields of Logic and the time reduction for presentation and discussion of papers to 20 minutes (...) should be reconsidered. Several outstanding papers are shortly discussed: Martin-Löw on "Formalized Tarski-Semantics of Type Theory", Hoyningen-Huene on "Feyerabend and Kuhn", Leroux on "Helmholtz and Hertz", and Muller on "Bell meets Dirac". Finally the visiting-program is gratefully appreciated. (shrink)
Philosophy of science and history of science are both interpretations of scientific practice, and the relationship between these two disciplines can take various forms: they may be mutually exclusive, interdependent, or related by inclusion. Much depends on whether philosophy of science is taken to be a prescriptive or a descriptive science. This book is concerned with the nature of the relationship between philosophy of science and history of science, and (...) sheds new light on our understanding of those activities that comprise science. (shrink)
A philosophically and historically sensitive account of the engagement of the major protagonists of Victorian British philosophy, Reforming Philosophy considers the controversies between William Whewell and John Stuart Mill on the topics of science, morality, politics, and economics. By situating their debate within the larger context of Victorian society and its concerns, Laura Snyder shows how two very different men—Whewell, an educator, Anglican priest, and critic of science; and Mill, a philosopher, political economist, and parliamentarian—reacted to (...) the challenges of their times, each seeking to reform science as a means of reforming society as a whole. The first book-length examination of the dispute between Mill and Whewell in its entirety, Reforming Philosophy provides a rich and nuanced understanding of the intellectual spirit of Victorian Britain and will be welcomed by philosophers and historians of science, scholars of Victorian studies, and students of the history of philosophy and political economy. (shrink)
Volume 9 of the Routledge History of Philosophy surveys ten key topics in the Philosophy of Science, Logic and Mathematics in the Twentieth Century. Each article is written by one of the world's leading experts in that field. The papers provide a comprehensive introduction to the subject in question, and are written in a way that is accessible to philosophy undergraduates and to those outside of philosophy who are interested in these subjects. Each chapter (...) contains an extensive bibliography of the major writings in the field. Among the topics covered are the philosophy of logic; Ludwig Wittgenstein's Tractatus; a survey of logical positivism; the philosophy of physics and of science; probability theory and cybernetics. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
This paper surveys recent trends in the history of science, using quotations from works published in the last decade. It suggests that philosophers of science have not yet come to terms with those changes, indicates which might or might not lead to productive interchange, and concludes that history and philosophy of science are now further apart than at any time since the early 1960's.
In The Advancement of Science (1993) Philip Kitcher develops what he calls the 'Compromise Model' of the closure of scientific debates. The model is designed to acknowledge significant elements from 'Rationalist' and 'Antirationalist' accounts of science, without succumbing to the one-sidedness of either. As part of an ambitious naturalistic account of scientific progress, Kitcher's model succeeds to the extent that transitions in the history of science satisfy its several conditions. I critically evaluate the Compromise Model by (...) identifying its crucial assumptions and by attempting to apply the model to a major transition in the history of biology: the rejection of 'naive group selectionism' in the 1960s. I argue that the weaknesses and limitations of Kitcher's model exemplify general problems facing philosophical models of scientific change, and that recognition of these problems supports a more modest vision of the relationship between historical and philosophical accounts of science. (shrink)
This is one of a group of essays (collected in this issue of the journal) about methodological considerations that have arisen for the project on the “Sanskrit knowledge systems on the eve of colonialism.” For the history of the exact sciences in Sanskrit, or Jyotiḥśāstra, in the early modern period, there are special problems. These have to do with the historically anomalous status of the exact sciences among the śāstras or Sanskrit knowledge systems, and with the predominantly “internalist” method (...) by which most recent research on Jyotiḥśāstra has been carried out. The essay considers the usefulness for tackling these problems of recent writing elsewhere in the history and philosophy of science, especially the work of Hacking. (shrink)
History of science, it has been argued, has benefited philosophers of science primarily by forcing them into greater contact with "real science." In this paper I argue that additional major benefits arise from the importance of specifically historical considerations within philosophy of science. Loci for specifically historical investigations include: (1) making and evaluating rational reconstructions of particular theories and explanations, (2) estimating the degree of support earned by particular theories and theoretical claims, and (3) (...) evaluating proposed philosophical norms for the evaluation of the degree of support for theories and the worth of explanations. More generally, I argue that theories develop and change structure with time, that (like biological species) they are historical entities. Accordingly, both the identification and the evaluation of theories are essentially historical in character. (shrink)
This paper presents an analysis of the forms of response that scientists make when confronted with anomalous data. We postulate that there are seven ways in which an individual who currently holds a theory can respond to anomalous data: (1) ignore the data; (2) reject the data; (3) exclude the data from the domain of the current theory; (4) hold the data in abeyance; (5) reinterpret the data; (6) make peripheral changes to the current theory; or (7) change the theory. (...) We analyze psychological experiments and cases from the history of science to support this proposal. Implications for the philosophy of science are discussed. (shrink)
Philosophers have started to use the history of science to address some of their philosophical concerns. In this paper I point out some aspects of contemporary practice that require further consideration in order to achieve a more fruitful integration of history and philosophy: one, the limitations of using case studies; two, the need to articulate how we should use history as evidence. Specifically, I argue that to make progress in the debate about realism we will (...) have to pay more attention to the role of historical evidence. (shrink)
History of science and philosophy of science are not perfectly complementary disciplines. Several important asymmetries govern their relationship. These asymmetries, concerning levels of analysis, evidence, theories, writing, and training show that to be a decent philosopher of science is more difficult than being a decent historian. But to be a good historian-well, the degree of difficulty is reversed.
Wightman supplies this corrigendum to an article in the november issue of this "journal" on the curriculum of the department of history and philosophy of science in the university of aberdeen. (staff).