A Master of Science History: Essays in Honor of Charles by Jed Z. Buchwald

By Jed Z. Buchwald

New essays in technological know-how historical past ranging around the complete box and comparable in such a lot example to the works of Charles Gillispie, one of many field's founders.

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Additional resources for A Master of Science History: Essays in Honor of Charles Coulston Gillispie

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Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1959). ’’ (Arnold Thackray), ‘‘Retrospective Review, Critical Problems in the History of Science. Review,’’ author[s]: Martin Rudwick; William Coleman; Edith Sylla; Lorraine Daston, Isis, 72(2) (Jun 1981), 267 (267–283). 7 Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1960. 2 3 A Career in the History of Science as a Student of Charles Gillispie 27 arose naturally at Indiana due to the presence of the philosopher of science, Norwood Russell Hanson, who had received his training in Great Britain, where the fields had been linked, and whose own research was concerned with the origins and genesis of systems of scientific knowledge and, hence, with the history of science.

Nothing was farther from my thoughts than methodology, something fit for Marxists and sociologists. All that we students of history were taught to do was to go look at the sources, all of them. Perhaps it was lucky that I had never taken a course in geology. Though formally trained in science, I wrote my thesis as someone being trained in history. Had I written it as a scientist, it would have been a chronicle of discovery, a sequence of correct theories displacing incorrect theories, the context being the state of knowledge about the earth in the author’s time.

C. Gillispie With a few stellar exceptions, the history of science until that time was the province either of philosophers—Condorcet, Comte, Whewell, Duhem, Mach—each adducing exemplary material in service to their respective epistemologies, or of elderly scientists writing the histories of their science, or sometimes all science, in order to occupy their retirement. Though not written in accordance with historical standards, neither of these bodies of literature is to be ignored. The one is always suggestive and sometimes informative, the other often informative, almost always technically reliable, and rarely of much interpretative significance.

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