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Our Preeminently Social Activity: Ludwik Fleck and Thought in History
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of History of Literature and History of Ideas. idéhistoria.
2007 (English)In: Ideas in History, ISSN 1890-1832, Vol. 2, no 3, 9-44 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper aims to introduce the approach and core concepts of Ludwik Fleck as resources for the study of general intellectual history. An interpretation of Fleck’s texts on ‘comparative epistemology’ and his theory of ‘thought-style and thoughtcollective’ is outlined, stressing for example that scientific thought was treated as an integrated phenomenon among other forms of human thought (and that this was a main point in Fleck’s understanding of science), and that the explicit moral of his analysis was in essence a ‘democratic’ appeal for openness and criticism against intellectual hubris. The proposed interpretation gives prominence especially to Fleck’s concept of Denkverkehr (‘intercourse’ between thinking people and ‘traffic’ in words and phrases), and to his implicit assumption that human thought (‘ideas’) is nothing but a form of action, and as such a particularly ‘social’ form of activity, eminently suited to be studied in terms of processes of social interaction, situated in historical time and space.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 2, no 3, 9-44 p.
Keyword [en]
Ludwik Fleck, intellectual history, thought style, though collective, Denkverkehr, social interaction
National Category
History of Ideas Philosophy History
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-16025OAI: diva2:182545
Available from: 2008-12-12 Created: 2008-12-12 Last updated: 2011-01-11Bibliographically approved

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