Title page for ETD etd-05092009-040457
|Type of Document
||Little, Michelle Y.
||Ludwik Fleck and his concept of a scientific fact
||Master of Arts
|Pitt, Joseph C.
|Burian, Richard M.
|Hardcastle, Gary L.
- social constructivism
|Date of Defense
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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