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Balkan Journal of Philosophy

Volume 6, Issue 2, 2014

Dimitri Ginev
Pages 103-116

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What Ludwik Fleck has really written about is the cognitive life of communities which constitute their worlds of specific entities. Fleck’s subject is intellectual history, but history seen as changing horizons of cognition projected by certain practices. His ideas have proliferated, so that some of them are attributable to the reception of his work in constructivist programs of cognitive sociology, historical epistemology, comparative historiography of science, and cultural studies of scientific research. Fleck’s philosophical assumptions cover a broad range. Some are responses to debates in which he was involved; others derive from his penchant to examine theories of knowledge in the interwar period through a historical and sociological lens; still others arose from his critical attitude toward those who interpreted science through their own narrow ideology, as well as the violence toward the academic ethos in National Socialism and Soviet Communism. The present paper tries to do justice to the major interpretations of Fleck’s work. It puts special emphasis on the kind of “trans-subjective hermeneutics” that is inherent in this work.

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