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'Escala i Corda' Cycles: Science, location and history


Date: 11 december 2019 at 16:00 to 17:30. Wednesday.


Place: Sala de Conferencias, Palau de Cerveró, Plaza Cisneros, 4. 46003 Valencia.


Coordinated by Josep Simon

Is science local, is it global, or is it universal? Are these qualities contradictory or can they be conjugated? How is a local history, a national history, a global history, and a universal history different? Do they have different objects, approaches, sources, or techniques? Are the histories of science different from the rest of local or global histories? This cycle of colloquia presents a reflection on the problem of scales in the history of science that emphasizes its theoretical and practical definition, as well as its methodological, professional and civic challenges.

Wednesday 11th December 2019, 4 p.m.

Spatial Concepts in the Historiography of Science: When to Claim that Science is Local?

Jouni-Matti Kuukkanen (Oulun Yliopisto/University of Oulo)

It has become increasingly common in historiography of science to understand science and its products as inherently local. But is it clear what the locality of science means? How about its opposites: globality or universality? In my talk, I have two main goals. First, I will consider what these concepts mean and in what relations they stand to each other. Are ‘local’ and ‘global’ or ‘universal’ inconsistent when applied to science? Could science be simultaneously local and global – and also universal? Answers to these questions are provided in light of scholarship in the historiography of science in past forty years. Second, I will consider under what circumstances claims regarding the locality, the globality and the universality of science are warranted. In other words, when historians of science are justified to make these kinds of claims? My view is based on a pragmatist notion of knowledge, according to which a claim is knowledge when it is a licensed inference in the discursive framework of historiography. The licence of an inference hinges on both the conceptual entailments of the framework and material resources beyond it.   





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