Explaining Science Historically


Arabatzis T. Explaining Science Historically. Isis [Internet]. 2019;110(2):354-359.
2019a.pdf72 KB


The author brings out the many faces of explanation in history of science by 
commenting on the contributions to a Focus section of Isis on historical explanation. The essay starts by indicating several ways in which the term “explanation” is used in historiographical discourse. It then distinguishes the object of explanation from the process of explanation and points out common themes and points of contention among the thirteen contributions. It also discusses two of those points in more detail: the problems of causal explanation in history of science and the imperative of avoiding anachronism in historical interpretation. The essay concludes by suggesting a pluralist take on explaining science historically.

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