Historiography

Download An Introduction to the Historiography of Science by Helge S. Kragh PDF

By Helge S. Kragh

ISBN-10: 0521389216

ISBN-13: 9780521389211

This publication introduces the methodological and philosophical issues of which smooth background of technology is worried, supplying a finished and important overview via description and review of vital historiographical viewpoints. Incorporating dialogue of key difficulties typically historic writing, with examples drawn from quite a number disciplines, this non-elementary creation bridges the space among basic heritage and heritage of technology. Following a assessment of the early improvement of the historical past of technology, the speculation of heritage as utilized to technological know-how historical past is brought, analyzing the fundamental difficulties which this generates, together with difficulties of periodisation, ideological features, and the clash among diachronical and anachronical historiography. eventually, the publication considers the severe use, and research, of old assets, and the opportunity of the experiemental reconstruction of background. Aimed essentially at scholars, the book's large scope and integration of old, philosophical and medical issues will curiosity philosophers, sociologists and basic historians, for whom there isn't any replacement creation to the topic at this point.

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It is history of science in particular which has taught us that the positivist belief in a value-free, culturally independent science is a myth. And it is history of science, more than anything else, philosophy included, that has taught us that the scientific method, perceived as an absolute, canonized doctrine, is an artefact. Those morals that can be drawn from history will most often be vague and ambiguous. Typically, instructions in history of science take place on the basis of a collection of case-studies, not all 40 Introduction to historiography of science of which point in the same direction, so that the question of the 'weighing' of conflicting evidence will always arise.

The problems surrounding the objective and relevance of history of science are closely connected to the question of the extent to which we can learn from history. We cannot learn from history of science how to solve specific scientific problems. But we can assess and understand our own contemporary science better in its social context with the aid of knowledge of its history. History of science provides us with a pool of experience, in which we can more or less clearly identify trends and relationships.

It 26 Introduction to historiography of science is obvious that not all who have contributed to our knowledge of nature through the ages are also of interest from the point of view of history of science. Historians select only a small number of the individuals who are potentially historical, to make them properly historical. Due to the complexity of science and its history, it is not possible to demarcate in abstract those individuals who belong to the history of science. Nevertheless, the question is of some practical relevance in connection with dictionaries, for example.

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