Until recently, the philosophy and history of science proceeded in a separate way from the philosophy and history of techlogy, and indeed with respect to both science and techlogy, philosophical and historical inquiries were also following their separate ways. Now we see in the past quarter-century how the philosophy of science has been profoundly in- fluenced by historical studies of the sciences, and longer concerned so single-mindedly with the analysis of theory and explanation, with the re- lation between hypotheses and experimental observation. Now also we see the traditional historical studies of techlogy supplemented by phi- losophical questions, and longer so plainly focussed upon contexts of application, on invention and practical engineering, and on the mutually stimulating relations between techlogy and society. Further, alas, the neat division of intellectual labor, those clearly drawn distinctions be- tween science and techlogy, between the theoretical and the applied, between discovery and justification, between internalist and externalist approaches ...all, all have become muddled! Partly, this is due to internal revolutions within the philosophy and his- tory of science (the first result being recognition of their mutual rele- vance). Partly, however, this state of 'muddle' is due to external factors: science, at the least in the last half-century, has become so intimately connected with techlogy, and techlogical developments have cre- ated so many new fields of scientific (and philosophical) inquiry that any critical reflection on scientific and techlogical endeavors must hence- forth take their interaction into account.
Date of Publication
Computing: Professional & Programming
Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science