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Epistemology & Philosophy of Science

Volume 48, Issue 2, 2016

Ilya Kasavin
Pages 233-237

History of Science a la Belle Lettre: a Case of Laura Snyder

Two books of American philosopher and science historian Laura Snyder are dedicated to the study of personality and teachings of William Whewell — an outstanding British philosopher and scholar, one of the father figures of the 19th century positivism. The author shows the role of communicative structures formed around prominent philosophers and scientists of the Victorian era, among which Whewell held a special and often the leading position. The purpose of these discussions and conversations, this selected discursive space or a trade zone served not only to find the final scientific truth. Much more they led to legitimating and consolidating the place of scientific and philosophical dispute in the structure of scientific activity and to justifying the latter. In this perspective, Snyder gives the chronicle of scientific-technical revolution of the 19th century, which brought England to the top of the leading world powers.

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