Historiographical Uses of Scientific Knowledge

Steven Weinberg

in The One Culture?

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2001 | ISBN: 9780226467221
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226467245 | DOI:
Historiographical Uses of Scientific Knowledge

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The work of scientists in any era is motivated by the data and the calculations available to them, as well as a whole host of social, cultural philosophical, and psychological influences. But the data are the way they are (at least some of the time) because that is the way the world is, and scientists know more now about the way the world is than they did in the past. So why not use this knowledge? Admittedly, there would be no need to do so had there been perfect knowledge of the data and calculations available to past scientists. Knowing something more about the world than what the scientists of the past knew can help us to fill in the gaps that will always be in the historical record.

Keywords: historiography; scientific knowledge; social influences; historical record; data; calculations

Chapter.  745 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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