Article ID: CBB199528779

The Age of Methods: William Whewell, Charles Peirce, and Scientific Kinds (2016)


For William Whewell and, later, Charles Peirce, the methods of science merited scientific examination themselves. Looking to history to build an inductive account of the scientific process, both men transformed scientific methods into scientific evidence. What resulted was a peculiar instance of what Ian Hacking calls “the looping effects of human kinds,” in which classifying human behavior changes that behavior. In the cases of Whewell and Peirce, the behavior in question was their own: namely, scientific study. This essay brings Hacking’s formulation to bear on the status of science in nineteenth-century intellectual history, revealing the continued entanglement of science and philosophy even as they were being prized apart. Focusing on how Whewell and Peirce turned themselves into “scientific kinds,” the essay reveals the slippage between “what” and “how” across what Peirce once called “the age of methods.”

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Authors & Contributors
Quinn, Aleta
Anders, Paul C.
Ashworth, William J.
Atkins, Richard Kenneth
Brooke-Smith, James
Ducheyne, Steffen
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Annals of Science: The History of Science and Technology
British Journal for the History of Science
Chinese Journal for the History of Science and Technology
Configurations: A Journal of Literature, Science, and Technology
Kluwer Academic
LED, Edizioni universitarie di lettere, economia, diritto
University of Pittsburgh Press
University of Wisconsin at Madison
Methodology of science; scientific method
Philosophy of science
Science and religion
History of philosophy of science
Science and literature
Whewell, William
Peirce, Charles Sanders
Darwin, Charles Robert
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor
Comte, Auguste
Delboeuf, Joseph
Time Periods
19th century
17th century
18th century
20th century, early
Qing dynasty (China, 1644-1912)
Great Britain
United States
Trinity College Dublin

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