Duhem is commonly held to have founded his view of history of science as continuous on the ‘metaphsical assertion’ of natural classification. With the help of a strict distinction between formal and material characterization of natural classification I try to show that this imputation is problematic, if not simply incorrect. My analysis opens alternative perspectives on Duhem's talk of continuity, the ideal form of theories, and the rôle of ‘bon sens’; moreover it emphasizes some aspects of Duhem's realism (...) that play an important part in his philosophy of science. (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 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)
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)
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.
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)
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 paper examines Wesley Salmon's claim that the primary role of plausibility arguments in the history of science is to impose constraints on the prior probability of hypotheses (in the language of Bayesian confirmation theory). A detailed look at Copernicanism and Darwinism and, more briefly, Rutherford's discovery of the atomic nucleus reveals a further and arguably more important role of plausibility arguments. It resides in the consideration of likelihoods, which state how likely a given hypothesis makes a (...) given piece of evidence. In each case the likelihoods raise the probability of one of the competing hypotheses and diminish the credibility of its rival, and this may happen either on the basis of 'old' or 'new' evidence. (shrink)
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)
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)
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)
There have been few attempts, so far, to document the history of artificial intelligence. It is argued that the “historical sociology of scientific knowledge” can provide a broad historiographical approach for the history of AI, particularly as it has proved fruitful within the history of science in recent years. The article shows how the sociology of knowledge can inform and enrich four types of project within the history of AI; organizational history; AI viewed as (...) technology; AI viewed as cognitive science and historical biography. In the latter area the historical treatments of Darwin and Turing are compared to warn against the pitfalls of “rational reconstructions” of the past. (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.
Before 1950, history of science did not exist as an independent academic branch, but was instead pursued by practitioners across various humanities and scientific disciplines. After professionalization, traces of its prehistory as a cross-disciplinary area of interest bound to an interdisciplinary, educational philosophy have remained. This essay outlines the development of history of science as an interdisciplinary academic field, and argues that it constitutes an obvious choice for inclusion in an interdisciplinary academic program, provided faculty and (...) administrators learn how best to manage its advantages and pitfalls. (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)
Reproduction is at the core of many aspects of human existence. It is intrinsic in our biology and in the broad social constructs in which we all reside. The introduction to this special issue is designed to reflect on some of the differences between the humanities/arts and the sciences on the subject of Reproduction now and in the past. The intellectual/cultural distance between humanists and reproductive biologists is vast, yet communication between the Two Cultures has much to offer in guiding (...) future research, pedagogy, and social policy. The challenges to communication include differences in methodology, professional protocols, specialization, and the increasing speed with which reproductive technology advances. The solutions require a new kind of student who can learn and adapt the approaches from both sides of the disciplinary divide to create new ways of understanding how our current and future concepts of reproduction may be informed by the past. This co-authored introduction reviews the range of interests represented in the essays and represents first steps of a dialogue between a humanist and a reproductive biologist who chart some of the possibilities on what the future of the subject might hold. (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)
A companion paper explored the role of intuition in the genesis of an alternative theory for the secretion of pancreatic digestive enzymes, looking through the lens of three philosophers/historians of science. Gerald Holton, the last scholar, proposed that scientific imagination is shaped by a number of thematic presuppositions, which function largely below awareness. They come in pairs of opposites that alternately gain cultural preeminence. The current paper examines three thematic presuppositions inherent to both the generally accepted model for digestive (...) enzyme secretion and most consciousness-centered views of higher-level cognition—discreteness, reduction, and simplicity. Since they often build on each other, together they are referred to as the simplicity worldview . Also considered are the three opposite thematic assumptions inherent to both the alternative model for digestive enzyme secretion and intuition-friendly views of higher-level cognition—the continuum, holism, and complexity—together referred to as the complexity worldview . The article highlights the potential importance to scientific knowledge of this currently less favored worldview. (shrink)
The role of intuition in scientific endeavor is examined through the lens of three philosophers/historians of science—Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn, and Gerald Holton. All three attribute an important role to imagination/intuition in scientific endeavor. As a case study, the article examines the controversy between the generally accepted Vesicular Sequestration/Exocytosis Model of pancreatic digestive enzyme secretion and an alternative view called the Equilibrium Model. It highlights the intertwining of intuition and reason in the genesis of the Equilibrium Model developed in (...) response to findings that could not readily be explained by the consensus view. It suggests that tacit knowledge/understanding works in conjunction with philosophical and aesthetic presuppositions that function to a greater or lesser extent below awareness. Together they guide judgments about whether falsification has occurred and help frame alternative theories. (shrink)
This paper offers a refutation of J. C. Pinto de Oliveira's recent critique of revisionist Carnap scholarship as giving undue weight to two brief letters to Kuhn expressing his interest in the latter's work. First an argument is provided to show that Carnap and Kuhn are by no means divided by a radical mismatch of their conceptions of the rationality of science as supposedly evidenced by their stance towards the distinction of the contexts of discovery and justification. This is (...) followed by an argument to the effect that the fact that Carnap's own work concentrated on formal aspects of scientific theories does not licence the conclusion that he thought historical investigations and concerns irrelevant for what we nowadays would rightly call "philosophy of science". (shrink)
Andrew Tooke's 1691 English translation of Samuel Pufendorf's De officio hominis et civis, published as The Whole Duty of Man According to the Law of Nature, brought Pufendorf's manual fo statist natural law into English politics at a moment of temporary equilibrium in the unfinished contest between Crown and Parliament for the rights and powers of sovereignty. Drawing on the authors' re-edition of The Whole Duty of Man, this article describes and analyses a telling instance of how--by translation--the core political (...) terms and concepts of the German natural jurist's 'absolutist' formulary were reshaped for reception in the different political culture of late seventeenth-century England. (shrink)
This paper examines critically the current state of affairs in philosophy of science. It focuses on the well-Known puzzle about the relationship between the normative prescriptive methodology of science and positive descriptive history of science. This puzzle has dogged philosophers of science for over a generation and is still controversial. My conclusion is that there is really no escape from it. The best way to characterize it is as follows: "philosophy of science without (...)history of science is empty; history of science without philosophy of science is blind.". (shrink)
One of the most significant political philosophers of the twentieth century, Carl Schmitt is a deeply controversial figure who has been labeled both Nazi sympathizer and modern-day Thomas Hobbes. First published in 1938, The Leviathan in the State Theory of Thomas Hobbes used the Enlightenment philosopher’s enduring symbol of the protective Leviathan to address the nature of modern statehood. A work that predicted the demise of the Third Reich and that still holds relevance in today’s security-obsessed society, this volume (...) will be essential reading for students and scholars of political science. “Carl Schmitt is surely the most controversial German political and legal philosopher of this century. . . . We deal with Schmitt, against all odds, because history stubbornly persists in proving many of his tenets right.”— Perspectives on Political Science “[A] significant contribution. . . . The relation between Hobbes and Schmitt is one of the most important questions surrounding Schmitt: it includes a distinct, though occasionally vacillating, personal identification as well as an association of ideas.”— Telos. (shrink)
Early communities and states -- Egypt -- Mesoptamia, Assyria, Babylon -- Iran -- Israel -- India -- China -- The Greeks -- Rome -- Graeco-Roman humanism -- The Kingdom of Heaven and the Church of Christ -- Themes : similarities and differences between cultures -- General conclusion.
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)
That the history and the philosophy of science have been united in a form of disciplinary marriage is a fact. There are pressing questions about the state of this union. Discourse on a New Method: Reinvigorating the Marriage of History and Philosophy of Science is a state of the union address, but also an articulation of compelling and well-defended positions on strategies for making progress in the history and philosophy of science.
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.
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)
Scholars in the early seventeenth century who studied ancient Greek scientific theories often drew upon philology and history to reconstruct a more general picture of the Greek past. Gassendi's training as a humanist historiographer enabled him to formulate a conception of the history of philosophy in which the rationality of scientific and philosophical inquiry depended on the historical justifications which he developed for his beliefs. Professor Joy examines this conception and analyzes the nature of Gassendi's historical training, especially (...) its relationship to his career as a physicist and astronomer. She shows how he rehabilitated Epicurean atomism by bringing together the arguments of the Greek atomists and those of his contemporaries. In doing so, he produced an account of the natural world which made it an object of empirical study and mechanical explanation. (shrink)
History of science and philosophy of science are not logically related: to claim that they are would be either to underestimate or to misunderstand the genetic fallacy. But one risk of inferring that there is no connection at all between the two is the risk that philosophers of science may not know what they are talking about. The philosopher of science who does not know intimately the history of the scientific problem with which he (...) is exercised may be discussing no genuine state of affairs. On the other hand, The historian and philosopher of science are both concerned with the structure of scientific ideas, And these concerns are fused into one when the scientific "argumentation" of the past is the issue. (staff). (shrink)
The revolutionary period in France marked a turning point in the history of the profession of mining engineering and its relation to the State. This essay outlines the changing requirements of the revolutionary government, and describes the ways in which the State and its engineering professionals responded to the challenge of combining science and practice.
This paper defends the right of historians to make use of their knowledge of the remote consequences of past actions. In particular, it is argued that the disciplinary cohesion of the history of science relies crucially upon our ability to target, for further investigation, those past activities ancestral to modern science. The history of science is not limited to the study of those activities but it is structured around them. In this sense, the discipline is (...) inherently 'present-centred': its boundaries are determined, in part, by judgements inaccessible to the historical actors. Present-centredness of this sort, it is urged, should not be regarded as a problem; its methodological consequences are minimal. (shrink)