In this book, Spinoza's political theory is examined through an analysis of his engagement with the practical politics of his day in the United Provinces. 17th-century Dutch history, political life and political thought, and in particular Dutch republicanism, represent an important context in which to discuss Spinoza's political philosophy. The significance of Spinoza's republicanism is highlighted in a comparison with English political thought and its presuppositions in the 17th century.
This highly acclaimed volume brings together some of the world's foremost historians of ideas to consider Machiavelli's political thought in the larger context of the European republican tradition, and the image of Machiavelli held by other republicans. An international team of scholars from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds (notably law, philosophy, history and the history of political thought) explore both the immediate Florentine context in which Machiavelli wrote, and the republican legacy to which he contributed.
Certain English writers of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, whom scholars often associate with classical republicanism, were not, in fact, hostile to liberalism. Indeed, these thinkers contributed to a synthesis of liberalism and modern republicanism. As this book argues, Marchamont Nedham, James Harrington, Henry Neville, Algernon Sidney, and John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon, the co-authors of a series of editorials entitled Cato's Letters, provide a synthesis that responds to the demands of both republicans and liberals by offering (...) a politically engaged citizenry as well as the protection of individual rights. The book also reinterprets the writings of Machiavelli and Hobbes to show that each contributed in a fundamental way to the formation of this liberal republicanism. (shrink)
This is the first comprehensive study in English of Bruno Bauer, a leading Hegelian philosopher of the 1840s. Inspired by the philosophy of Hegel, Bauer led an intellectual revolution that influenced Marx and shaped modern secular humanism. In the process he offered a republican alternative to liberalism and socialism, criticized religious and political conservatism and set out the terms for the development of modern mass and industrial society. Based on in-depth archival research this book traces the emergence of republican political (...) thought in Germany before the revolutions of 1848. Professor Moggach examines Bauer's republicanism and his concept of infinite self-consciousness. He also explores the more disturbing aspects of Bauer's critique of modernity, such as his anti-Semitism. As little else is available on Bauer even in German this book will be eagerly sought out by professionals in political philosophy, political science, and intellectual history. (shrink)
Written by one of Italy's leading historians, this book analyses the Neapolitan nobleman Gaetano Filangieri and his seven-volume 'Science of Legislation' in their historical context, expounding on his legacy for the histories of ...
In recent years, scholars have begun to give greater attention to the 14th-century political writer, Ptolemy of Lucca, mostly on account of his avid defense of republican government in the treatise, De regimine principum. Educated in the scholastic curriculum at the University of Paris, Ptolemy has typically been identified by scholars as one of the most thoroughly Aristotelian medieval thinkers. Ptolemy, like many of his contemporaries, peppered his writing with citations from Aristotle's major works. This article, however, examines the sources (...) employed in Ptolemy's republican arguments, finding that the legacy of Republican Rome played a far more critical role in shaping his republicanism than could be attributed to Aristotle's moral or political works. Though conversing fluently in an Aristotelian language system, Ptolemy's arguments in De regimine principum are derived, at their core, from his reading of Roman Republican sources, not from Aristotelian influence. This discovery reveals Ptolemy to be an even more artful and original writer than was previously assumed, and should add to, rather than detract from, his place as a key figure in the development of western political thought. (shrink)
History of education emerges during the course of the nineteenth century in Germany and is marked by four features. It is educational, and not scientific in nature, because it was written primarily for teacher education and training; it is national, or even nationalistic; it is oriented almost exclusively towards German philosophy; and it is indebted to Lutheran Protestantism. This model of pedagogical historiography leaves its mark on the historiographies that emerged later in England, France, and the United States. Taking (...) the example of Rousseau, this contribution makes it clear that these Lutheran and idealist premises lead to a one-sided historiography, so that the republican tradition in which Rousseau stood could be suppressed. On this basis, the paper points up the methodological necessity in historical research to examine contexts, giving up the idea of one history of education in favor of reconstruction of various traditions. The gain lies in making visible suppressed transnational languages that educational reflection made use of for centuries. In particular, a connection is revealed between the republican education of the eighteenth century in Europe and the concern with the issue of the “good citizen” that has preoccupied the American discussion from Jefferson to the Pragmatists to Diane Ravitch. (shrink)
The significance of Machiavelli's political thinking for the development of modern republicanism is a matter of great controversy. This reassessment examines the character of Machiavelli's own republicanism by charting his influence on Marchamont Nedham, James Harrington, John Locke, Algernon Sidney, John Trenchard, Thomas Gordon, David Hume, the baron de Montesquieu, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton. Concluding that although Machiavelli himself was not liberal, Paul Rahe argues that he did, nonetheless, set (...) the stage for the emergence of liberal republicanism in England. (shrink)
Modern republicanism - distinguished from its classical counterpart by its commercial character and jealous distrust of those in power, by its use of representative institutions, and by its employment of a separation of powers and a system of checks and balances - owes an immense debt to the republican experiment conducted in England between 1649, when Charles I was executed, and 1660, when Charles II was crowned. Though abortive, this experiment left a legacy in the political science articulated both (...) by its champions, John Milton, Marchamont Nehdham, and James Harrington, and by its sometime opponent and ultimate supporter Thomas Hobbes. This volume examines these four thinkers, situates them with regard to the novel species of republicanism first championed more than a century before by Niccolo Machiavelli, and examines the debt that he and they owed the Epicurean tradition in philosophy and the political science crafted by the Arab philosophers Alfarabi, Avicenna, and Averroes. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction: the republic, old and new; 1. Freedom as non-domination; 2. Social justice; 3. Political legitimacy; 4. Democratic influence; 5. Democratic control; Conclusion: the argument, in summary.
Though the history of republicanism has been a popular topic of research since the mid-twentieth century, there are still various issues and areas that have remained neglected?not least the exchange of republican ideas from one cultural context to another, particularly across national boundaries. The purpose of this special issue is to offer some exploration of this neglected area, and this essay serves as an introduction to it. The essay offers an overview of the literature on republicanism that (...) has been produced since the mid-twentieth century, it demonstrates the different ways in which republican exchange can be conceived and considers how the essays that follow contribute to our understanding of this issue, and finally it proposes a new way of thinking about republicanism. (shrink)
This article discusses the introduction of the Western concept of democracy to China from the late nineteenth century to the first two decades of the twentieth century and the formation of the Chinese concept of democracy. It suggests that the modern Chinese concept of democracy underwent two formational phases. At the beginning, the traditional elite tended to interpret Western democracy in terms of republicanism. During the New Culture Movement (1919-25), the new generation of intellectuals began a selective reconstruction of (...) the notion of democracy, which resulted in the modern Chinese view of democracy characterized by popular participation and elections. With funding from several research grants, we have created a database of texts related to modern Chinese political thought (about 60 million words). By carrying out a frequency count and meaning analysis of the terms gonghe (republicanism) and minzhu (democracy), this article examines the roots of the replacement of the concept of republicanism by democracy from the perspective of intellectual history. (shrink)
Dans cet article, nous cherchons à penser les enjeux philosophiques et politiques de l’application des méthodes interprétatives en histoire de la philosophie politique. À partir d’une étude de l’interprétation de Machiavel développée par Quentin Skinner, nous interrogeons la relation entre l’exposition théorique de sa méthodologie et son application effective à la pensée machiavélienne. Dans un premier temps, nous exposons les fondements du contextualisme skinnérien, en insistant d’une part sur sa critique des méthodes orthodoxes en histoire des idées, et d’autre part, (...) sur sa conception de l’intentionnalité d’un auteur du passé et sur la relation étroite entre théorie politique et vie politique qu’elle présuppose. Dans un second temps, nous analysons la mise en œuvre de cette méthode à partir du cas Machiavel, en illustrant les résultats féconds ainsi que les limites d’une telle théorie interprétative. Nous terminons par une analyse critique du projet politique qui sous-tend l’application de cette herméneutique. La thèse défendue est que la relation entre la dimension méthodologique et la dimension proprement politique de l’entreprise skinnérienne est marquée par une certaine tension. D’un côté, Skinner affirme que l’historien ne peut, et ne doit, retirer de leçons intemporelles de l’étude des auteurs du passé; la notion même de continuité entre les époques – l’idée d’une « grande Tradition » – serait un leurre. De l’autre, il critique la conception négative de la liberté mise de l’avant par des auteurs tels que John Rawls ou Isaiah Berlin, et propose une vision renouvelée du républicanisme qui puiserait à la source machiavélienne et permettrait de réconcilier liberté individuelle et participation citoyenne. En explorant tour à tour ces deux volets et l’articulation parfois problématique entre les deux, nous interrogeons la nature de cette équivoque entre les visées méthodologiques de Skinner en tant qu’historien des idées et son propos en tant que théoricien politique. (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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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.
In this paper I argue that, in at least two cases - his discussions of the temporal precedence o f polytheism over monotheism and of the origins of civil society - we see Hume consigning to historical development certain aspects of reason which, as a comparison with Locke will show, have sometimes been held to be uniform. In the first of these cases Hume has recourse to claims about the general historical development of human thought. In the second case, the (...) origin of the civil institution of justice and government is not linked directly to external circumstances and the principles of human nature, as it is in contractarian theories, but makes a detour through the historical acquisition of certain concepts. Because Hume's position does not conform in any simple sense to Dugald Stewart's 'incontrovertible logical maxim' that the capacities of the human mind have been the same in all ages, Stewart's account of the method of conjectural history is, in any simple sense, inadequate as a description of Hume's practice. (shrink)
Among many important claims, Allen Wood in Kant's Ethical ought proposes that Kant's philosophy of history can be grasped as a "naturalist" approach, grounding human nature in biology. I suggest some reservations. First, I question Kant's conception of biology as (a still emergent) science. Second, I question Kant's extension of his notion of "natural predisposition" to reason and freedom. Third, I question the naturalism of Kant's philosophy of history by suggesting the excessive role providence must play in Kant's (...) account. The upshot is to find Kant's philosophy of history one of the less persuasive elements in his system of thought, despite Wood's energetic effort at a contemporary reconstruction. (shrink)
This article analyzes how the relationship between philosophy and history has been conceived within the study of political thought, and how different ways of conceiving this relationship in turn have affected the definition of the subject matter as well as the choice of methods within this field. My main argument is that the ways in which we conceive this relationship is dependent on the assumptions we make about the ontological status of concepts and their meaning. I start by discussing (...) the widespread view that philosophy and history ought to be viewed as distinct if not incompatible ways of studying political thought, and then go on to describe the view that philosophical and historical approaches should be conceived of as identical or inseparable. I end this article by suggesting that these approaches rather should be viewed as mutually constitutive for the benefit of a more coherent study of political thought. (shrink)
Abstract This paper argues that history of economics has a fruitful, underappreciated role to play in the development of economics, especially when understood as a policy science. This goes against the grain of the last half century during which economics, which has undergone a formal revolution, has distanced itself from its `literary' past and practices precisely with the aim to be a more successful policy science. The paper motivates the thesis by identifying and distinguishing four kinds of reflexivity in (...) economics. The main thesis of this paper is that because these forms of reflexivity are not eliminable, the history of economics must play a constitutive role in economics (and graduate education within economics). An assumption that I clarify in this paper is that the history of economics ought to be part of the subject matter studied by economics when they are interested in policy science. Even if one does not accept the conclusion, the fourfold classification of reflexivity might hold independent interest. The paper is divided in two parts. First, by reflecting on the writings of George Stigler, Paul Samuelson, George and Milton Friedman, I offer a stylized historical introduction to and conceptualization of the themes of this paper. In particular, I identify various historically influential arguments and strategies that reduced the role of history of economics within the economics discipline. In it I also canvass six arguments that try to capture the cost to economics (understood as a science) for sidelining the history of economics from within the discipline. A sub-text of the introduction is that for contingent reasons, post World War II economics evolved into a policy science. Second, by drawing on the work of Kenneth Boulding, in particular, George Soros, Thomas Merton, Gordon Tullock, I distinguish between four species of reflexivity. These are used to then strengthen the argument for the constitutive role of the history of economics within the economics profession. In particular, I argue that so-called Kuhn-losses are especially pernicious when faced with policy choices under so-called Knightian uncertainty. (shrink)
This paper tries to show how the Fregean semantic framework, especially the notions of sense and tone, can be used to explain certain features of history. Following Michael Dummett's interpretation of Gottlob Frege's notion of meaning, it is possible to conceive of historical works as proposing particular modes of presentation of past events. In fact, alternative historical works about the same past events could be viewed as differing in what sense and tone they express. In this paper, I first (...) outline some of the points and distinctions made by Frege. Second, I examine how the notions of sense, reference, and tone can be applied in semantic analysis of historical work. Finally, I point to a certain similarity between the Fregean framework and some of the views presented in the recent philosophy of history. My account suggests how to make use of some of the classical insights of Frege when dealing with the semantic issues of historical work. (shrink)
In this paper, I show how the phenomenological and hermeneutic traditions and method converge on their treatment of the historical subject. Thinkers from both traditions claim that subjectivity is shaped by a historical worldview. Each tradition provides an account of how these worldviews are shaped, and thus how essentially historical subjective experience is molded. I argue that both traditions, although offering helpful ways of understanding the way history shapes subjectivity, go too far in their epistemic claims for the superiority (...) of subjective over positivist or academic history I propose that although the phenomenological/ hermeneutic approach to historical subjectivity is valuable for understanding both history and human nature, it cannot and ought not replace academic or what I will call ‘critical’ history. By showing the importance of historicity, and the force of historical consciousness on our actions, philosophers of history in these traditions expose the epistemic and perhaps even ethical requirement to engage in a rigorous critical history, one that recognizes the importance of historical consciousness. Such critical history is necessary to move beyond the subjective horizon of history as experienced to understand how events shaped this historical horizon. (shrink)
The singular position of Montesquieu's political philosophy seems to raise the question: Isn't the opposition between republicanism and liberalism a largely artificial one? On the one hand, the description of the republican vivere civile in the Spirit of the Laws testifies to the important ties that exist between Montesquieu and the tradition of ?civic humanism?. However, this apparent theoretical proximity between Montesquieu and the British Neo-Harringtonians ought not to be taken too far, obscuring the deep divergences that differentiate their (...) respective positions, notably when it comes to the interpretation of history. Montesquieu's break from the republican tradition is exemplified by his rejection of its conception of freedom rooted in the citizens' necessary participation in power. But in the end, this does not enable us to conclude that he subscribes to a purely liberal theory. The British model shows that even if direct participation in the exercise of power is not necessary for the existence of liberty, a certain level of civic involvement and public awareness is needed. The liberal opposition between positive and negative liberty, political autonomy and enjoyment of rights without interference must therefore be transcended. (shrink)
This article entitled “History's `So it seems'” explores the potential of phenomenology for the framing of histories which privilege partcipant perspectives. The theory agenda of the article adapts insights drawn from Heidegger's ontological hermeneutic of Da-sein - the human condition of being-there and being-aware (or not aware). The theory agenda also adapts Heidegger's readings of Heraclitus. The practical agenda of the article illustrates this potential of Heidegger's phenomenology for history by contrasting `so it once seemed' senses of the (...) Emperor Julian the Apostate's Roman pagan self-hood. The contrasts are autobiographical (Julian's Misopogon ), contemporary biographical (Ammianus Marcellinus's history), and long-lag biographical (Gore Vidal's novel avowedly constrained by the sources). (shrink)
There is no doubt that periodization is a rather effective method of data ordering and analysis, but it deals with exceptionally complex types of processual and temporal phenomena and thus it simplifies historical reality. Many scholars emphasize the great importance of periodization for the study of history. In fact, any periodization suffers from one-sidedness and certain deviations from reality. However, the number and significance of such deviations can be radically diminished as the effectiveness of periodization is directly connected with (...) its author's understanding of the rules and peculiarities of this methodological procedure. In this paper we would like to suggest a model of periodization of history based on our theory of historical process. We shall also demonstrate some possibilities of mathematical modeling for the problems concerning the macroperiodization of the world historical process. This analysis identifies a number of cycles within this process and suggests its generally hyperexponential shape, which makes it possible to propose a number of forecasts concerning the forthcoming decades. (shrink)
There is a pervasive contrast in the early natural history writings of the co-discoverers of natural selection, Alfred Russel Wallace and Charles Darwin. In his writings from South America and the Malay Archipelago (1848-1852, 1854-1862). Wallace consistently emphasized species and genera, and separated these descriptions from his rarer and briefer discussions of individual organisms. In contrast, Darwin's writings during the Beagle voyage (1831-1836) emphasized individual organisms, and mingled descriptions of individuals and groups. The contrast is explained by the different (...) practices of the two naturalists in the field. Wallace and Darwin went to the field with different educational experiences and social connections, constrained by different responsibilities and theoretical interests. These in turn resulted in different natural history practices; i.e., different habits and working routines in the field. Wallace's intense collecting activities aimed at a complete inventory of different species and their distributions at many localities. Darwin's less intense collecting practice focused on detailed observations of individual organisms. These different practices resulted in different material, textual and conceptual products. Placing natural history practices at the center of analysis reveals connections among these diverse products, and throws light on Wallace and Darwin's respective treatment of individuals and groups in natural history. In particular, this approach clarifies the relation between individuals and groups in Wallace's theory of natural selection, and provides an integrative starting point for further investigations of the broader social factors that shaped Victorian natural history practices and their scientific products. (shrink)
Systematic entomology flourished as a branch of Natural History from the 1750s to the end of the nineteenth century. During this interval, the “era of Heroic Entomology,” the majority of workers in the field were dedicated amateurs. This article traces the demographic and occupational shifts in entomology through this 150-year interval and into the early twentieth century. The survey is based on entomologists who studied beetles (Coleoptera), and who named sufficient numbers of species to have their own names abbreviated (...) by subsequent taxonomists. In the eighteenth century, 27 entomologists achieved this level of prominence, of whom 37% were academics, 19% were doctors, 11% had private incomes, 19% were clergymen, and 8% were government officials. Many of those with private incomes were members of the European aristocracy, and all but one were European men. The nineteenth century list included 192 entomologists, of whom 17% were academics, 16% were museum curators, 2% were school teachers, 15% were doctors, 6% were military men, 7% were merchants, 2% were government entomologists, 6% had private incomes, 5% were clergymen, 5% were government officials, and 4% were lawyers. The demographics of entomology shifted dramatically in the nineteenth century. Whereas many of the noteworthy entomologists of the eighteenth century were German, Swedish, or French, in the nineteenth century, many more European countries are represented, and almost one-fifth of the noteworthy entomologists were from the United States. The nineteenth century list, like the eighteenth century list, contains no women. By the twentieth century, 63% of 178 noteworthy systematic entomologists were paid professionals, teaching entomology courses in universities, or studying insect taxonomy in museums and government-sponsored laboratories. Only one person on the twentieth century list had a private income, but women (ten individuals) were included on the list for the first time. (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)
There are a large number of disciplines that are interested in the theoretical aspects of the history of thought. Their perspectives and subjects may vary, but fundamentally they have a common research interest: the history of human thinking and its products. Despite this, they are studied in relative isolation. I argue that having different subjects as specific objects of research, such as political or scientific thinking, is not a valid justification for the separation. I propose the formation of (...) a new integrated field of study, the philosophy of the history of thought. Its most fundamental questions can be taken to be: 1) What is the basic theoretical unit in the history of thought? 2) How does change take place and how can it be described? 3) What kind of reasons are there for change? Why is there a change in a particular case? The existing confusions around the commitments and basic vocabulary used in contemporary historiography makes the establishment of this field important. Recognizing that there is such a discipline is necessary in order to enable concentration on the fundamental theoretical issues. It is likely that progress on theoretical questions and better awareness of the implicit commitments would have a positive impact on historical practice. (shrink)
Investigators of animal behavior since the eighteenth century have sought to make their work integral to the enterprises of natural history and/or the life sciences. In their efforts to do so, they have frequently based their claims of authority on the advantages offered by the special places where they have conducted their research. The zoo, the laboratory, and the field have been major settings for animal behavior studies. The issue of the relative advantages of these different sites has been (...) a persistent one in the history of animal behavior studies up to and including the work of the ethologists of the twentieth century. (shrink)
The case often made by scientists (and philosophers) against history and the history of science in particular is clear. Insofar as a field of study is historical as opposed to law-based, it is trivial. Insofar as a field attends to the past of science as opposed to current scientific issues, its efforts are derivative and, by diverting attention from acquiring new knowledge, deplorable. This case would be devastating if true, but it has almost everything almost exactly wrong. The (...) study of history and the study of laws are not mutually exclusive, but unavoidably linked. Neither can be pursued without the other. Much the same can be said of the history of science. The history of science is neither a distraction from "real" science nor even merely a help to science. Rather, the history of science is an essential part of each science. Seeing that this is so requires a broader understanding of both history and science. (shrink)
Although history is the pre-eminent part of the gallant sciences, philosophers advise against it from fear that it might completely destroy the kingdom of darkness—that is, scholastic philosophy—which previously has been wrongly held to be a necessary instrument of theology.