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However, a tension remains between his demand for the unity of knowledge and his reliance on the structuralist methodologies of nineteenth-century mathematics.

Numéros en texte intégral

In , Cassirer tried to resolve this tension by pointing out that the loss of unity with regard to the subject-matter of mathematics is compensated by a deeper unity of method. By transcendental I mean all kinds of arguments that set conditions for the possibility of something. According to Cassirer, the logic at work in the formation of numerical concepts necessarily applies to other fields of knowledge, beginning with geometry and physics.

These are examples of how structural procedures are transferred across algebraic, numerical and geometrical domains. My suggestion is that Cassirer offers a philosophical account of cases where mathematical and structural reasoning finds unexpected applications beyond the original ground for its development.

Abstract: Many mathematicians and commentators have said that the unity of mathematics is a fact or an ideal for the understanding and development of mathematics. Here one thinks naturally of Bourbaki. I want to defend an opposing point of view concerning these particular mathematics subjects. Thus, there is a geometric mode of thought turned toward geometric problems, excluding arithmetic, analytic, and perhaps even algebraic thinking. Can Economics be Liberated From Physics?

Sciences de la nature - Cégep Limoilou

This unitary epistemology has largely been responsible for the failure of economics to develop its own models of scientificity. Most of economists who have followed this unitary outlook have taken physics as their model of scientific undertaking. Not only Freidman himself takes all of his examples in the aforementioned book from physics, recent works by Nelson and Mirowski have shown how other majors economists in the 20th century, such as Samuelson and Keynes, equally took physics as their model of genuine scientificity.

Two major causes have so far prevented us from developing a satisfactory criticism of the domination of this unitary epistemology in economics: on the one hand, much of contemporary criticism of this unitarism comes from economists and thinkers with avowed Marxist orientation. However, the problem is that Marxism itself advocates a unitary approach with regard to different sciences.

However, many of these works go as far as saying that the same rhetorical dimensions are at work in all sciences, including in physics itself.

Consequently, they, too, take the scientific methodology to be unique, and constitute more an attempt at criticizing scientificity in general than its specific forms in contemporary economics. My goal in this paper is to show how by following the tradition of historical epistemology and taking history as our ultimate guide, and by refusing to propose any ontological demarcation, we can come up with a more rigorous way of explaining why in economics, contrary to physics, it is not the so called positive economics the study of what is that should guide the study of the so called normative economics the study of what ought to be but the other way around.

According to some scholars, scientific discourse is the effect of free, more or less individual and rational choice. Science is the construction of rational agents, who explicitly or implicitly apply a priori given rationality criteria to the study of nature empiric sciences , society social sciences , and a very abstract discipline we call mathematics. Philosophers of science unravel the rational structure lurking behind or laying at the basis of the scientific practice.

What they do, essentially, is nothing but providing a coherent and rich theory of rationality. Therefore, philosophy of science can obviously have a normative import: it can help in the process of selecting scientific programs eligible for funding, for example. Footing on historical evidence, a second approach has challenged that science emerges from the behavior of rational, free agents; it has also questioned that individual, rational choice plays a prominent role in the scientific practice. In this vein, a number of studies have emphasized, in many different ways, that scientific practice is guided by a variety of constraints: social, cultural, economic, institutional, etc.

As epistemic constraints, I mean in very general terms substructures whose dependence from knowledge-based components is predominant over possible external factors. Being constraints of epistemic kind, they tell what is to be known and what is not: so they entail both positive and negative heuristic and how is to be known what is to be known so they entail norms.

Epistémologie historique et les désunités des sciences – Journée d’étude

In particular, I will try to develop a provisional taxonomy of epistemic constraints and argue that they can account for the plurality of scientific beliefs, standards, approaches, etc. I begin with a recognition that the historian cannot be removed from history-writing. What, then, is our role as historians? If historians of science shared this perspective, our work would be redundant. I argue that we can do the history of science with the aim of improving scientific knowledge in ways that are neglected by scientists themselves.

Given the current monistic and hegemonic tendencies in science, scientific progress tends to be accompanied by the shutting down of alternative paths of inquiry and a resulting loss of potential and actual knowledge. A critical and sympathetic engagement with the past of science allows us to recover the lost paths, which can also suggest new paths.

Such a pluralist process of inquiry also liberates our philosophical thinking about the nature of science from undue influence from current scientific orthodoxy. These points will be illustrated by a number of examples, especially from the history of chemistry and physics, including the recovery and extension of forgotten experiments from past science. However, medical practice is not solely a scientific activity, but mostly an act of providing care. That is to say, every physician has the hippocratic obligation to approach the patient with attentiveness in order to treat.

This tension between scientific activity and therapeutic activity has been highlighted in the history of medicine by the French philosopher and physician Georges Canguilhem.

Canguilhem states that scientific analysis is itself not sufficient in order to establish a therapeutic relationship with the patient. By looking at medical practice more from a technical point of view however, therapeutic care can be revalorized. Thirdly and surprisingly enough, there are a number of surgeons, who did not only act as simple users of objects, but also as inventors e. The Treasure of Jean Lafitte In Jean Lafitte's day, silver and gold filled a pirate's treasure chest, but today's treasures are people, places, and memories.

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Maths is revolutionising the study of history – here's how

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