Javascript is not activated in your browser. This website needs javascript activated to work properly.
You are here

History and philosophy of science as an interdisciplinary field of problem transfers

  • Henrik Thorén
Publishing year: 2014
Language: English
Document type: Conference paper

Abstract english

In this paper we return to Ronald Giere (1973) and his claim that history of science as a discipline cannot contribute to philosophy of science by providing, partial or whole, solutions to philosophical problems. Let us suppose that Giere was right. Would the implication be that there can be no genuine interdisciplinarity between the two disciplines? In answering this question it is first suggested that connections between disciplines can be formed around the transfer and sharing of problems (as well as solutions); and that this is a viable alternative of how to understand the relationship between history and philosophy of science. Next we argue that this is sufficient for establishing a genuine form of interdisciplinarity between them. An example is presented—Lindley Darden’s (1991) book on theory change—that shows how philosophy of science can rely on history of science in this way.


  • Philosophy
  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


Henrik Thorén
E-mail: henrik [dot] thoren [at] fil [dot] lu [dot] se

Visiting research fellow

LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)



Theoretical Philosophy


P.O. Box 170, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden
Phone: +46(0)46- 222 80 81
info [at] lucsus [dot] lu [dot] se