The Writing of the History of Science from the Notion of Scientific Field


  • Ivã Gurgel University of São Paulo
  • Graciella Watanabe Federal University of ABC



Pierre Bourdieu, Scientific Field, Epistemology, Historiography of Science


Does science depend on its historical context? Does understanding science as a social construction demand us to abandon rationalist perspectives of knowledge? Based on these issues, this article aims to discuss epistemological questions concerning the problem of the historicity of sciences. In first part, we analyze how different philosophical systems conceptualize this problem and point out to tensions that emerge when one tries to reconcile a rationalist with a historicist perspective of knowledge. Then, we discuss the sociological epistemology of Pierre Bourdieu arguing that the field autonomy is a key concept to understand what the author denominates the “social conditions of the progress of reason”. Finally, we present criteria to delimit the most relevant contexts in a case study on the history of science. 


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How to Cite

Gurgel, Ivã, and Graciella Watanabe. 2020. “The Writing of the History of Science from the Notion of Scientific Field”. Transversal: International Journal for the Historiography of Science, no. 8 (June).



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