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Title
Is a Conceptual and HISTORICAL History of Science Possible (12th-17th Century)?
Session code
ST11
Date Time
Tuesday, August 23rd / 14.00-17.30
Organizers
Nicolas Weill-Parot
Place
Collegium Maius, Salon Mickiewicza
Abstract

Over the last decades, the overwhelming supremacy of sociological and “externalist” approaches to science amongst historians seems to have pushed the conceptual approach to scientific writings outside of the historian’s own area of expertise. This kind of approach actually seems to give away the analysis of scientific discourse and leave it to epistemologists and philosophers of science. Moreover, many promoters of the “social history of science” criticize the conceptual history of science for being “old-fashioned.” Nevertheless, the picture of existing research led in the meantime is quite different from this narrative. First, conceptual history of science still exists, as recently published works attest, bringing renewed knowledge based on accurate contextualization. Second, while the conceptual history of science always takes into account relevant contexts, it does not necessarily entail that this context be always primarily social or political (although it may); very often, intellectual or even spiritual data are much more decisive parameters. Be this roundtable the opportunity to scrutinize this obsession for all-social/power relationships explanations.