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From Philosophy of Medicine to a Constructivist and Relativist Epistemology

  • Ludwik Fleck
Chapter
Part of the Philosophy and Medicine book series (PHME, volume 37)

Abstract

Ludwik Fleck (1896–1961) is today widely recognized as a pioneer of the sociologically-oriented constructivist approach to history and philosophy of science. Fleck was not, however, trained as an historian, a philosopher, or a sociologist; he was a physician who specialized in microbiology and immunology. Fleck studied medicine at Lwow University, and immediately upon receiving a medical degree (in 1920) he became assistant to a well-known typhus specialist, Rudolf Weigl, and worked in the latter’s laboratory in Przmysl, near Lwow. In 1921, Weigl received the chair of bacteriology at Lwow University, and Fleck followed him to Lwow. However, because of personal conflicts with faculty members, or perhaps due to the antisemitism that prevailed at Lwow during this period, or both, he was obliged to leave the university in 1923. From 1923 to 1928, Fleck worked as a bacteriologist in General City Hospital in Lwow. He first joined the Department of Internal Medicine, then became head of the bacteriological and serological Laboratory of the Department of Skin and Venereal Diseases. In 1923, he also created a private laboratory of bacteriology and serology in which he performed routine analyses and conducted personal research. In the years 1928–35, Fleck headed the bacteriology laboratory of the Lwow Sick Fund [Lwowska Kasa Chorych]; but he lost this job in 1935, and between 1935 and 1939 he worked exclusively in his private laboratory.

Keywords

Private Laboratory Scientific Medicine Pathological Phenomenon Personal Conflict Bacteriology Laboratory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ludwik Fleck

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