Transversal International Journal for the Historiography of Science
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Published By Transversal: International Journal For The Historiography Of Science


Tiago Santos Almeida

Historicity is a key epistemological component of the definition of “science” proposed by authors such as Gaston Bachelard, Georges Canguilhem and Michel Foucault, and partially accepted by the Brazilian Collective Health builders. What we call the “historicity awareness” of Collective Health is the field’s recognition that there is no knowledge of health without history and that its history interferes with its results, with the conceptualization of its objects, its cognitive and technological practices, and the feasibility of its promises of enhancing the quality of life towards an equal society. This helps explain why Humanities in general and History, in particular, are ubiquitous to Health Education, where they are known as Health and Medical Humanities or, as is more usual in Brazil, Human and Social Sciences in Health. They helped to imagine an equitable health care system of which the concrete manifestation, however imperfect, is the Brazilian Unified National Health System, the SUS. Health Humanities, Medical Humanities, and History of Science and Technology are all interdisciplinary fields that challenge historiography and theory of history to look beyond the borders of our normative understanding of the historian’s professional identity – which legitimacy is achieved through specific academic training – to properly evaluate the multiple expressions of society’s relationships and engagements with history and time.

Andréa Mara Ribeiro da Silva Vieira

This article aims to reflect on the place of history in the history of science from the perspective of Brazilian historiography of science, mainly according to the thought of the Brazilian physicist and historian of science, Carlos Alvarez Maia. Since the 1990s, Maia (2013) began to question why the history of science became (and still largely remains) a “history of absent historians” in the face of the predominance of history of science in the Natural Science Departments and the absence in History Departments. The dynamic and changing historiography of science itself reaffirms the lack of historical analyses using history’s methodological and conceptual apparatus. Thus, epistemological aspects appear interrelated to political-institutional issues. Consequently, one has a political-epistemological perspective for discussing the place – or non-place – of history in the history of science. The thought of Maia (2013) acts as an essential starting point for reflection. It constitutes a possible opening in constructing a consolidation of discussions about the impacts (of the absence and the presence of the conceptual apparatus of history) in developing new historiography of science conceptually historical.

María Laura Martínez

In this article, I provide an initial approximation to the establishment and the early stages of the history of science in Uruguay. To do so, I focus on the first courses on the subject dictated in Uruguay and the first figures—both local and foreign—that took part in the process. With this objective, first, I examine the introduction of the discipline into the Río de la Plata—and into Argentina more particularly—via the arrival of European historians. I then analyze the role played by some of the first most significant figures in the history of science in Uruguay in the second quarter of the twentieth century. Finally, I explore and briefly describe the first courses dictated at the Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias (School of Humanities and Sciences) of the Universidad de la República (University of the Republic) during the mid-twentieth century.

María de los Ángeles Martini

The aim of this article is to provide a critical revision of the notion of “reception” of academic works in general and of the histories of the sciences in particular. This will broaden the scope of the notion in a way that can include the new and unexpected receptions of the history of science in Latin America. To achieve this, I propose the concept of “figural co-production”, which I understand as a set of situated practices where the available cultural resources are appropriated, and that allows for productive interactions between heterogeneous collectives that aim for the configuration of knowledge. This theoretical proposal enables me to analyze Verónica Tozzi Thompson’s appropriation of the works of Steven Shapin and Martin Kusch in her pragmatist approach to the philosophy of history. This appropriation, I contend, can be seen as a case of reception of the shapinian history of science in Argentina.

Marcela Renée Becerra Batán

In this work, I propose some notes for a current epistemological evaluation around Whiggism and presentism in the historiographical proposal of Guillermo Boido (1941-2013). In the first place, I will locate the topic proposed in the shared framework from the “Colloquium of Historiography of Science in Latin America (Argentina – Brazil – Uruguay): Reception, Reflection and Production.” Second, I will refer to some aspects of Boido’s academic career and I will place him in what I identify as a “second stage” of the history of science in Argentina. Third, I will dwell on some of Boido’s writings, particularly on those in which he addresses the questions of Whiggism and presentism. Fourth, I will recover some elements on the treatment of these issues in recent works carried out from the perspective of historical epistemology. Finally, in conclusion, I will propose a current epistemological evaluation of Whiggism and presentism between reception and reflection; an evaluation oriented to sustain a “critical” (Loison 2016) and “pluralist” (Chang 2021) presentism, in the face of the epistemological, ethical and political challenges of our current days.

Juan A. Queijo Olano

This paper aims to revisit the intellectual tension in the River Plate region surrounding a dispute between the Hungarian philosopher Desiderio Papp and the Argentine-Uruguayan physicist Félix Cernuschi when they were contenders for the Chair of Scientific Thought at the School of Humanities and Sciences of the Universidad de la República in Uruguay. Their disagreement was personal, political, and philosophical and divided the waters among the emerging community of physicists in the region and a group of actors who, for some time, had been devoted to the History of Science in the universities of the region. The History of Science constituted the battleground out of which it would emerge how science should be understood in a Uruguayan university that, historically speaking, had been remiss in providing an appropriate space for its development. In revisiting this event, this paper seeks to throw light on the present situation of an almost non-existent History of Science in Uruguay.

Alberto Bardi

Originating in the field of biology, the concept of the hybrid has proved to be influential and effective in historical studies, too. Until now, however, the idea of hybrid knowledge has not been fully explored in the historiography of pre-modern science. This article examines the history of pre-Copernican astronomy and focuses on three case studies—Alexandria in the second century CE; Baghdad in the ninth century; and Constantinople in the fourteenth century—in which hybridization played a crucial role in the development of astronomical knowledge and in philosophical controversies about the status of astronomy and astrology in scholarly and/or institutional settings. By establishing a comparative framework, this analysis of hybrid knowledge highlights different facets of hybridization and shows how processes of hybridization shaped scientific controversies.

Gustavo Rodrigues Rocha

Book Review Matthews, Michael. 2021. History, Philosophy and Science Teaching: A Personal Story. Singapore: Springer Nature, 2021. ISBN: 978-981-16-0557-4 - Hardcover Book 139.99, USD, E-book 109.00 USD.

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