Title page for ETD etd-05092009-040457

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Little, Michelle Y.
URN etd-05092009-040457
Title Ludwik Fleck and his concept of a scientific fact
Degree Master of Arts
Department Philosophy
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Pitt, Joseph C. Committee Chair
Burian, Richard M. Committee Member
Hardcastle, Gary L. Committee Member
  • social constructivism
  • fleck
  • facts
Date of Defense 1995-08-30
Availability restricted

In this thesis, I explore the concept of a scientific fact through the work of Polish physician Ludwik Fleck (1896-1961). Fleck has had an alleged influence upon contemporary philosophy of science, prinlarily through the work of Thomas Kuhn with subsequent echoes from the direction of the sociology of science. Most writers, however, have restricted their focus upon onl~ one of Fleck's publications, The Genesis and Developnzen t of a Scientific Fact (1935), and have highlighted the Polish philosophical community as a primary influence upon Fleck's ideas. I argue in this thesis that since Fleck was a doctor by trade, his views must be understood in the context of the medical issues and philosophy of medicine of his time. Furthermore, in order to appreciate Fleck's concept of a scientific fact, one nlust turn to his other philosophical works. A more judicious picture of Fleck and his concept of a scientific fact is provided by this analysis even though, I conclude, his approach remains philosophically unsatisfactory.

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