By Helge S. Kragh
This ebook introduces the methodological and philosophical issues of which glossy heritage of technology is anxious, supplying a complete and important overview via description and assessment of important historiographical viewpoints. Incorporating dialogue of key difficulties often old writing, with examples drawn from a variety of disciplines, this non-elementary advent bridges the distance among normal heritage and historical past of technological know-how. Following a evaluate of the early improvement of the heritage of technological know-how, the speculation of background as utilized to technology background is brought, studying the fundamental difficulties which this generates, together with difficulties of periodisation, ideological capabilities, and the clash among diachronical and anachronical historiography. eventually, the e-book considers the severe use, and research, of historic assets, and the opportunity of the experiemental reconstruction of heritage. Aimed basically at scholars, the book's wide scope and integration of historic, philosophical and clinical issues will curiosity philosophers, sociologists and common historians, for whom there is not any substitute creation to the topic at this point.
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Extra resources for An Introduction to the Historiography of Science
12 History of science can undoubtedly play a positive part in teaching. It can contribute towards a less dogmatic conception of science and scientific methods and it can act as an antidote to orthodoxy and uncritical enthusiasm for science. But not all teaching on history of science will play this part and certainly not automatically. History of science can be used just as well to support dogmas and to strengthen scientific authority. 13 V. 14 He wanted to remind the scientific specialists of their connections and shared roots with the humanities and to remind the humanists that science and the humanities are merely two facets of the same human endeavour.
Some modern historians of geology argue that Hutton's role has been much exaggerated and that Werner's system was, after all, rational and very important to the development of geology. Several historians have used the objections to the positivist view of history in support of a sceptical or relativist view of history. The radical sceptic will maintain that we can never achieve any 46 Introduction to historiography of science certain knowledge of history, that we know nothing of the past; the radical relativist will maintain that all historical descriptions of the past are equally good or equally bad.
History is also concerned with law-like phenomena, relationships, trends, analogies and structures that cannot be reduced to an aggregate of individual events and that are not fixed in time and space. Such statements as 'technological innovations create economic growth' and 'the philosophy of the 17th century was dominated by empiricist ideas' will normally be regarded as meaningful historical statements. One of the effects of, and perhaps the motivation behind, confining history to unique events is that one isolates historical science from sociological, psychological and economic viewpoints; an isolation that admittedly will confer autonomy on history, but the price of that autonomy will be sterility.