Frameworks for Historians & Philosophers


Authors
Kirsten Walsh
University of Exeter
Adrian Currie
Cambridge University
Abstract
The past can be a stubborn subject: it is complex, heterogeneous and opaque. To understand it, one must decide which aspects of the past to emphasise and which to minimise. Enter frameworks. Frameworks foreground certain aspects of the historical record while backgrounding others. As such, they are both necessary for, and conducive to, good history as well as good philosophy. We examine the role of frameworks in the history and philosophy of science and argue that they are necessary for both forms of enquiry. We then suggest that the right attitude towards frameworks is pluralism rather than monism: there is no single correct framework to be applied to a given scientific episode. Rather, a multitude of different frameworks are more or less appropriate given various contexts and aims. From this perspective, good frameworks generate and further, rather than frustrate, historical and philosophical enquiry. Our view sheds light on historical disagreement, and on the relationship between philosophy and history of science.
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Reprint years 2018
DOI 10.1086/699797
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References found in this work BETA

We Have Never Been Modern.Bruno Latour - 1993 - Harvard University Press.
The Scientific Image.Bas C. Van Fraassen - 1980 - Journal of Philosophy 79 (5):274-283.
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Citations of this work BETA

Simplicity, one-shot hypotheses and paleobiological explanation.Adrian Currie - 2019 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 41 (1):10.

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