Philosophical Elements in Thomas Kuhn's Historiography of Science

Paul Hoyningen-Huene


To begin, the so-called ‘selectivity of historical judgment’ is discussed. According to it, writing history requires a comparative criterion of historical relevance. This criterion contains philosophical elements. In Kuhn’s case, the criterion directs historical research and presentation away from Whiggish historiography by postulating a hermeneutic reading of historical sources. This postulate implies some sort of internalism, some sort of rationality of scientific development, and historical realism. To conclude, some consequences of Kuhn’s anti-Whiggism are discussed.


Historical relevance; Anti-Whiggism; internalism; rationality of science; historical realism

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