Review of Metaphysics 7 (1):74 - 88 (1953)

The watershed for the latter discipline was the establishment of the Hegelian philosophy, with its thesis that the history of philosophy was philosophy itself. Hegel's lectures on the history of philosophy appeared posthumously but his influence was already confirmed. The first really inclusive history of science which is of more than antiquarian interest, William Whewell's History of the Inductive Sciences, was published almost simultaneously in 1837. For Whewell as well as for Hegel, history and philosophy were connected; Whewell's History was written in close relation to his Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences, which he in one place called the "moral" of the other work. Surveying the astonishing advances of science, especially in the previous century and a half, he expressly aimed to clarify the method responsible for them. Philosophically, he was a curious hybrid between Kant and Francis Bacon, seeing in scientific development the progressive articulation of certain a priori "Ideas." But despite these early and vigorous beginnings, the study of the history of science has generally lagged behind that of its sister study, perhaps because the impetus of scientific expansion and specialization has discouraged scientists from examination of their own intellectual antecedents, and at the same time has debarred non-scientists from sufficient technical understanding to perform the task adequately. The edges of the old wound between the Natur- and the Geisteswissenschaften healed apart rather than together, to the detriment of both.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph19537129
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