History of the Human Sciences 29 (4-5):13-34 (2016)

Authors
Pietro Daniel Omodeo
University of Venice
Abstract
This article addresses the ideological context of twentieth-century history of science as it emerged and was discussed at the threshold of the Cold War. It is claimed that the bifurcation of the discipline into a socio-economic strand and a technical-intellectual one should be traced back to the 1930s. In fact, the proposal of a Marxist-oriented historiography by the Soviet delegates at the International Congress of History of Science and Technology led by Nikolai Bukharin, set off the ideological and methodological opposition that characterised the later years. Bukharin’s views on science are closely considered, as well as those of his Marxist critics, György Lukács and Antonio Gramsci. It is argued that, despite the fluidity of the positions of the 1920s and 1930s, these theories soon crystallized as demonstrated by the leftist reception of Bukharin’s and his associates’ perspective in the history of science, especially in Great Britain, as well as by the anti-communist reactions. Intellectualist approaches renouncing socio-economic factors, typically those by Alexandre Koyré and Thomas Kuhn, are reconsidered in the light of the ideological confrontation of the Cold War era. Reflection on the political-cultural embedding of the history of science has often been overshadowed by claims about the objectivity and neutrality of science and its historiography. Thus, the seminal discussion of the 1930s remains one of the most lucid moments of reflection about the role of science and history of science as cultural phenomena shaped by political struggles.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1177/0952695116667866
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 55,873
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.David Bohm - 1964 - Philosophical Quarterly 14 (57):377-379.

View all 28 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Reply to Ch'ü.Nikolai Bukharin - 1971 - Chinese Studies in History 4 (2-3):138-139.
The Revolution in Colonial and Semicolonial Countries.Nikolai Bukharin - 1971 - Chinese Studies in History 4 (2-3):127-130.
Bukharin and the Social Study of Science.Constantine D. Skordoulis - 2015 - Studies in East European Thought 67 (1-2):75-89.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2017-06-26

Total views
9 ( #885,299 of 2,401,777 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #361,744 of 2,401,777 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes