The Rational Weight of the Scientific Past: Forging Fundamental Change in a Conservative Discipline

  • Larry Laudan
Part of the Nijhoff International Philosophy Series book series (NIPS, volume 32)


(One of the recurrent foci in David Hull’s research has been the character of history, especially history of science. He has, indeed, been an eloquent defender of enlightened whiggism in history of science during decades when, for all the wrong reasons, whiggism has gone out of fashion. At the heart of the debates between anti-whigs and people like David Hull has been a disagreement about whether the past has a legitimate justificatory role in contemporary debates about science. I have written this essay for this volume as an effort to sketch put a picture of one important kind of justification which the history of science has often been expected to provide.)


Epistemic Standard Successful Practice Physics Tradition Epistemic Strategy Historical Achievement 
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  1. Jardine H. (1984). The Birth of History and Philosophy of Science. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Laudan, L. (1984). Science and Values. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Larry Laudan
    • 1
  1. 1.University of HawaiiUSA

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