Social Epistemology 20 (2):131 – 161 (2006)

Abstract
The rediscovery in the mid-1970s of Ludwik Fleck's initially neglected monograph, Entstehung und Entwicklung einer Wissenschaftlichen Tatsache, published in 1935 and translated in 1979 as Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact, has resulted in extensive, still ongoing, secondary writings, mainly within the humanities. Fleck has been interpreted as furthering a relativistic conception of science. Nowadays, he is often viewed as an important contributor to contemporary sociology of science and a forerunner to Thomas Kuhn. Fleck's account of the Wassermann reaction, which forms the basis of his epistemology, has been praised as developed by a scientist well acquainted with the field in question. Because of the scarcity of available material on Fleck, however, the question of his sources has remained an unsolved issue. In the present article, an alternative reading is suggested. By focusing on the scientific content of the monograph, mainly neglected in the modern interpretations of Fleck, and on the so far overlooked sources of his writings traced back to their German origin, a better understanding of Fleck's account of the Wassermann reaction can be given. The consequences of this alternative reading for the conception of Fleck's monograph and for the impetus of his mission are discussed.
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DOI 10.1080/02691720600784477
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References found in this work BETA

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas Samuel Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
The Social Construction of What?Ian Hacking - 1999 - Harvard University Press.
Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact.Ludwik Fleck - 1979 - University of Chicago Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Thought Styles and Paradigms—a Comparative Study of Ludwik Fleck and Thomas S. Kuhn.Nicola Mößner - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (2):362–371.
Ludwik Fleck.Wojciech Sady - unknown - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The Reading of Scientific Texts: Questions on Interpretation and Evaluation, with Special Reference to the Scientific Writings of Ludwik Fleck.Eva Hedfors - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 38 (1):136-158.
Fleck in Context.Eva Hedfors - 2007 - Perspectives on Science 15 (1):49-86.
The Reading of Scientific Texts: Questions on Interpretation and Evaluation, with Special Reference to the Scientific Writings of Ludwik Fleck.Eva Hedfors - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 38 (1):136-158.

View all 12 citations / Add more citations

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Fleck in Context.Eva Hedfors - 2007 - Perspectives on Science 15 (1):49-86.

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