Abstract
Like it or not, a big picture of the history of science is something which we cannot avoid. Big pictures are, of course, thoroughly out of fashion at the moment; those committed to specialist research find them simplistic and insufficiently complex and nuanced, while postmodernists regard them as simply impossible. But however specialist we may be in our research, however scornful of the immaturity of grand narratives, it is not so easy to escape from dependence – acknowledged or not – on a big picture. When we define our research as part of the history of science, we implicitly invoke a big picture of that history to give identity and meaning to our specialism. When we teach the history of science, even if we do not present a big picture explicitly, our students already have a big picture of that history which they bring to our classes and into which they fit whatever we say, no matter how many complications and refinements and contradictions we put before them – unless we offer them an alternative big picture
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DOI 10.1017/s0007087400031447
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References found in this work BETA

The Death of Nature.Carolyn Merchant - forthcoming - Environmental Philosophy: From Animal Rights to Radical Ecology.
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Citations of this work BETA

Hacking’s Historical Epistemology: A Critique of Styles of Reasoning.Martin Kusch - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (2):158-173.
Naturecultures? Science, Affect and the Non-Human.Joanna Latimer & Mara Miele - 2013 - Theory, Culture and Society 30 (7-8):5-31.
Layered History: Styles of Reasoning as Stratified Conditions of Possibility.James Elwick - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (4):619-627.
Microstudies Versus Big Picture Accounts?Soraya de Chadarevian - 2009 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 40 (1):13-19.

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