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Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact [Format Kindle]

Ludwik Fleck , Thaddeus J. Trenn , Robert K. Merton , Thomas S. Kuhn , Frederick Bradley

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Présentation de l'éditeur

Originally published in German in 1935, this monograph anticipated solutions to problems of scientific progress, the truth of scientific fact and the role of error in science now associated with the work of Thomas Kuhn and others. Arguing that every scientific concept and theory—including his own—is culturally conditioned, Fleck was appreciably ahead of his time. And as Kuhn observes in his foreword, "Though much has occurred since its publication, it remains a brilliant and largely unexploited resource."

"To many scientists just as to many historians and philosophers of science facts are things that simply are the case: they are discovered through properly passive observation of natural reality. To such views Fleck replies that facts are invented, not discovered. Moreover, the appearance of scientific facts as discovered things is itself a social construction, a made thing. A work of transparent brilliance, one of the most significant contributions toward a thoroughly sociological account of scientific knowledge."—Steven Shapin, Science

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 3323 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 234 pages
  • Editeur : University of Chicago Press (5 septembre 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00ICQO884
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Amazon.com: 4.3 étoiles sur 5  10 commentaires
15 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A truly original and groundbreaking work--mandatory reading. 12 mai 1998
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
I first encountered Fleck's work while I was a doctoral student at NYU. The clarity and orginality of his thoughts completely captivated me. This work is truly one which has changed my life and my way of thinking. Fleck was indeed a pioneer and prophet--I continually re-read "Genesis & Development of A Scientific Fact," each time gaining greater insight and appreciation for its depth and scope. Fleck's monograph is truly an original and groundbreaking tour de force--mandatory reading from a true (but sadly overlooked) genious.
5 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Truly Original, Thought-Changing Work 13 avril 2006
Par Morpheus - Publié sur Amazon.com
I first read Genesis & Development of A Scientific Fact while I was a graduate student at New York University. While the work was admittedly a challenging one, it was, without doubt, one of the most truly original, thought-changing works I've ever read. Fleck was, in my opinion, a true visionary who forwarded an extremely provactive thesis about the origin of scientific "facts." Fleck's monograph is high on my short list of "must read" intellectual works. Other similar works worth reading include: Julian Jaynes, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, and Giambattista Vico, The New Science.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An Important Contribution to the History of Science with Implications far beyond its topic! 6 décembre 2014
Par The Old Prof - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié

For those interested in the history of science—even those interested in other disparate fields such as general historiography, science, medicine, sociology, anthropology, psychology, linguistics, geology, areas of study that strive to be as objective as possible—this book is an absolute requirement for thoughtful reading! The book should be classified as belonging to the field of epistemology; it might also be seen as a contribution to the study of ethno-semantics.

Among the most important features of the book are concepts such as “thought style” (Denkstihl) and “thought collective” (Denkkollektiv) which seem to have socio-psychological implications for the development of concepts that are later recognized as facts. The case study for the entire work is the study of syphilis and the Wassermann reaction that eventually came to anchor the work on syphilis in modern medical archives. But what is a “thought collective”? Kuhn, himself, describes it as follows: “Put briefly, a thought collective seems to function as an individual mind writ large because many people possess it (or are possessed by it).” (p. x). Fleck attempted to understand how a fact began and how it developed under the influence of the styles of thought throughout the history of the fact’s evolution.

I found that reading this book was difficult. There are several reasons for this. First, the very title has something of a “shock” value! Isn’t a fact, a fact? Well, if one reads this book it isn’t so straight forward. But that is what makes this book so significant.

Second, this is an English translation from the original German. One of the translators, Thaddeus J. Trenn, notes as follows: “The translation was a difficult task…Merton [one of the three co-translators] and I agreed that a close and literal translation of the complex and often idiosyncratic original would only result in an unreadable English version…the final result is an interpretative translation, which seeks to remain faithful to Fleck’s complex ideas while conveying them in a readable fashion.” But Trenn goes on to say, “Some words quite resist adequate translation…” (p. xv). Having read through the entire book I would guess that my own struggle to understand the important concepts presented by Fleck might have been due to the translators’ own struggle to stay faithful to the original text and yet interpret in such a way that the English reader would understand Fleck’s seminal ideas—it was a valiant attempt but one which nevertheless still reflects much of Fleck’s original idiosyncratic text.

Although my opening remarks may be interpreted by some as a negative, the reader should, however, not allow this difficulty to put them off from obtaining this important publication! A careful consideration of the contents will reward the investigator with a fresh perspective on epistemology—the science of knowledge. But I would make one recommendation: Please read the section (not written by Fleck) entitled “Descriptive Analysis” (pp. 154-165) first before reading the book itself. Had I done this I would have been far ahead in my own attempt to understand the contents.

The book is also recommended by none other than the famous physicist, Thomas S. Kuhn, who wrote the forward! In fact, apparently, it was Kuhn himself who had recommended that Fleck’s book be translated into English. Aside from this, Thaddeus J. Trenn, himself a scientist, and Robert K. Merton, a sociologist and well-known for his seminal contributions in sociology, and Fred Bradley are the three translators of Fleck’s work. They have spared no effort to try and make Fleck’s original understandable.
The book has extensive (and often detailed) endnotes, an excellent bibliography including references to early reviews of Fleck’s German original and concludes with a detailed index.
15 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Scientific facts: constructed, not discovered? 14 février 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
If you thought scientific knowledge was clear, objective, and unbiased, but fortunately became enlightened by your readings of Kuhn, think again!! Rediscovered by Kuhn himself, Fleck exposes in a brief, very-well illustrated monogrpah, how facts -such as the apparently objective Wassermann reaction for syphilis- are constructed, not passively discovered. From medieval magic to modern medicine, the concept of syphilis has been transformed. I urge you to read Fleck's work and evaluate for yourself why he anticipated his time. Enjoy!
5.0 étoiles sur 5 This is a must read if you want to be a medical scientist! 31 mai 2014
Par Xavier J. Caro, M.D. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
If you are an aspiring medical research scientist and lucky enough to have been directed to, or to have stumbled onto, this book, consider yourself blessed. It is indeed what other reviewers have described as "transformative." And, more. It is, really, a piece of art, derived from the mind of - what I assume to have been - a truly extraordinary man. Just to sit at his feet and listen for awhile will be a joy, despite the work you will need to put into it. And, work it will be. As the book was originally written in a rather convoluted style, and then translated from the German, I suspect you will find it one of the most difficult reads of your career. Nevertheless, I implore you to push on. Your reward will be to become an initiate within a group of philosopher scientists who can say that they have finally begun to understand the true nature of scientific discovery.
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