Functions and Uses of Disciplinary Histories by M. Norton Wise (auth.), Loren Graham, Wolf Lepenies, Peter

By M. Norton Wise (auth.), Loren Graham, Wolf Lepenies, Peter Weingart (eds.)

Edward Gibbon's allegation before everything of his Essay at the research of Literature (1764) that the historical past of empires is that of the miseries of humankind while the background of the sciences is that in their splendour and happiness has for a very long time been authorised through expert scientists and by means of historians of technology alike. For its practitioner, the heritage of a self-discipline displayed specifically the continually tricky yet fmally worthwhile method of a fact which used to be included within the self-discipline in its real fonn. in retrospect, it was once purely too effortless to tell apart those that erred and heretics within the box from the few forerunners of actual technological know-how. at the one hand, the normal background of technology used to be informed as a narrative of hero and hero worship, nevertheless it used to be, satirically adequate, the consistent try and remind the scientist whom he should still larger disregard. it's not outstanding in any respect as a result that the conventional historical past of technological know-how used to be a box of merely minor curiosity for the practitioner of a different clinical self-discipline or uniqueness and while a not often not easy activity for the pro historian. Nietzsche had already defined the historian of technology as anyone who arrives overdue after harvest-time: it truly is a person who's just a tolerated visitor on the thanksgiving dinner of the medical neighborhood .

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Droysen, 'Natur und Geschichte', in R. ), Historik: Vorlesungen iiber Enzyklopiidie und Methodologie der Geschichte, 3rd. , Darmstadt: Wissenschaftlich Buchgesellschaft, 1958, p. 411; translation from Outline of the Principles of History , E. B. ), Boston: Ginn, 1897, p. 98. 11. 408; Andrews, p. 94. 12. , p. l04. 13. The mix of positivism and historicist idealism in Ranke's work is well described by Leonard Krieger, RQnke: The MeQning of History, Chicago: Univ. I-31. 14. H. von Helmholtz, Ueber das Verhiiltnis der Naturwissenschaften zur Gesamtheit der Wissenschaften', Philosophische Vortriige und Aufsiitze, H.

More interesting is the fact that debate over school modernization raged throughout the second half of the nineteenth century. That debate pitted advocates of more mathematics, science, and modem languages against those wishing to maintain the traditional humanist emphasis on classical1anguages, literature, and history. That is, it pitted the natural sciences against the historical sciences and thereby kept very much alive the problem of their relation. Many prominent scientists entered the public debate, including Helmholtz, Mach, and Ostwald (59).

4. , p. 71. 5. , pp. 65f, 71. 6. Philosophic Problems (Note 3), pp. 32,29. 7. Ernst Mach, History and Root of the Principle of the Conservation of Energy, P. E. B. ), Chicago: Open Court, 1911, p. 57. 8. A convenient survey is Georg G. : Wesleyan U. , 1968. 9. Discussed most generally in Kant's Critique of Judgement. Timothy Lenoir provides a lucid account of this issue for biology which I shall draw on below, 'Teleology without Regrets. ;y in Germany: 1790-1847'. Stud. Hist. Phil. , 12 (1981), 293-354.

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