Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science
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Epistemic Virtues in the Sciences and the Humanities

Editors: van Dongen, Jeroen, Paul, Herman (Eds.)

  • Focuses on how scholars in the sciences and humanities studied their subjects, through the innovative prism of epistemic virtues
  • Examines interactions, the transfer of epistemic virtues and differences across scholarly fields
  • Makes a rare attempt to attain an integrated perspective on the history of the sciences and humanities
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About this book

This book explores how physicists, astronomers, chemists, and historians in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries employed ‘epistemic virtues’ such as accuracy, objectivity, and intellectual courage. In doing so, it takes the first step in providing an integrated history of the sciences and humanities. It assists in addressing such questions as:

What kind of perspective would enable us to compare organic chemists in their labs with paleographers in the Vatican Archives, or anthropologists on a field trip with mathematicians poring over their formulas?

While the concept of epistemic virtues has previously been discussed, primarily in the contexts of the history and philosophy of science, this volume is the first to enlist the concept in bridging the gap between the histories of the sciences and the humanities. Chapters research whether epistemic virtues can serve as a tool to transcend the institutional disciplinary boundaries and thus help to attain a ‘post-disciplinary’ historiography of modern knowledge. Readers will gain a contextualization of epistemic virtues in time and space as the book shows that scholars themselves often spoke in terms of virtue and vice about their tasks and accomplishments. 

This collection of essays opens up new perspectives on questions, discourses, and practices shared across the disciplines, even at a time when the neo-Kantian distinction between sciences and humanities enjoyed its greatest authority. Scholars including historians of science and of the humanities, intellectual historians, virtue epistemologists, and philosophers of science will all find this book of particular interest and value.

About the authors

Jeroen van Dongen is Professor of the History of Science at the University of Amsterdam. He is the author of Einstein’s Unification (Cambridge University Press, 2010). He has served as Editor and Associate Editor of the Collected Papers of Albert Einstein at Caltech and recently edited the volume Cold War Science and the Transatlantic Circulation of Knowledge (Brill, 2015). Van Dongen has published extensively in journals as Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, Centaurus and Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences.

Herman Paul is Associate Professor of Historical Theory and Historiography at Leiden University. He is the author of Key Issues in Historical Theory (Routledge, 2015) and Hayden White: The Historical Imagination (Polity Press, 2011) and project leader of ‘The Scholarly Self: Character, Habit, and Virtue in the Humanities, 1860-1930.’ Out of this project emerged several articles that

are of immediate relevance to the proposed volume, including ‘Virtue Language in Nineteenth-Century Orientalism: A Case Study in Historical Epistemology,’  Modern Intellectual History (forthcoming); ‘What Is a Scholarly Persona? Ten Theses on Virtues, Skills, and Desires,’ History and Theory 53 (2014), 348-371; ‘Weak Historicism: On Hierarchies of Intellectual Virtues and Goods,’ Journal of the Philosophy of History 6 (2012), 369-388; and ‘Performing History: How Historical Scholarship is Shaped by Epistemic Virtues,’ History and Theory 50 (2011), 1-19.

Table of contents (11 chapters)

Table of contents (11 chapters)
  • Introduction: Epistemic Virtues in the Sciences and the Humanities

    Pages 1-10

    Dongen, Jeroen (et al.)

  • Confidence, Humility, and Hubris in Victorian Scientific Naturalism

    Pages 11-25

    Kidd, Ian James

  • “Broken Symmetry”: Physics, Aesthetics, and Moral Virtue in Nuclear Age America

    Pages 27-47

    Wang, Jessica

  • Religious and Scientific Virtues: Maxwell, Eddington, and Persistence

    Pages 49-61

    Stanley, Matthew

  • The Epistemic Virtues of the Virtuous Theorist: On Albert Einstein and His Autobiography

    Pages 63-77

    Dongen, Jeroen

Buy this book

eBook $89.00
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-48893-6
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase and usable on all devices
  • Bulk discounts available
Hardcover $119.99
price for USA in USD
Softcover $119.99
price for USA in USD
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Epistemic Virtues in the Sciences and the Humanities
Editors
  • Jeroen van Dongen
  • Herman Paul
Series Title
Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science
Series Volume
321
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer International Publishing AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-48893-6
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-48893-6
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-48892-9
Softcover ISBN
978-3-319-84040-6
Series ISSN
0068-0346
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VI, 198
Number of Illustrations
3 b/w illustrations
Topics