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Epistemology & Philosophy of Science

Volume 57, Issue 3, 2020

Tatiana D. Sokolova
Pages 60-74

A Priori in the Philosophy of Science
Methodological Aspects of Research

The article is devoted to the analysis of research approaches and attitudes to the study of the a priori in the philosophy of science. In the first part, I outline the basic premises of this study: (a) scientific knowledge as the highest manifestation of rationality; (b) the normative nature of scientific knowledge. In the second part, I turn to the difference in the subject of philosophical research on the history of science – the history of science as a “history of facts” vs the history of science as a history of scientific thought. The third part discusses the main theoretical and technical difficulty associated with changing the subject of research – the possibility of a transition from historical fact to “scientific thought at the time of its birth” (in Helene Metzger terminology). The forth part is devoted to the analysis of the “model approach” (Arianna Betti, Hein van den Berg) in philosophy as a possible way to overcome this difficulty and includes both theoretical and technical aspects of the future direction of research. In conclusion, consequences are drawn about the possibility of using the “model approach” for reconstruction a priori in the history of science as “constitutive elements of scientific knowledge” (David Stump).

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