Video Chronicle

Ludwik Fleck - Ein Pionier der Historischen Epistemologie
13 April 2019


On April 13, 2019 the lecture by Hans-Jörg Rheinberger "Ludwik Fleck – A Pioneer of Historical Epistemology" took place.

Ludwik Fleck (1896-1961) can rightly be regarded as one of the pioneers of a historically minded epistemology. Trained as an immunologist, he belongs to a generation of scientists wo decisively contributed to a historical reorientation of the then predominant analytical style of philosophy of science that reigned supreme in, for instance, the influential Vienna circle and the Berlin school of logical positivism. Fleck stands in a row of thinkers such as the Italian mathematician Federigo Enriques (1871-1946), the French teacher of physics and chemistry Gaston Bachelard (1884-1962) and his French contemporary, the mathematician Jean Cavaillès (1903-1944) who took their starting point for reflecting about the genesis and development of the sciences in their practical groundings and procedures as well as in their social constitution. Ludwik Fleck’s notions of "thought style" and "thought collective" stand paradigmatically for these two perspectival reorientations.

During the lecture there was a presentation of the Ukrainian translation of the work of Ludwig Fleck "The emergence and development of a scientific fact" (Publishing House "Books 21", Chernivtsi) with the participation of the translator, Stephaniya Ptashnik.

The lecture is a part of the international workshop "Ludwik Fleck and His Thought Collectives".

Hans-Jörg Rheinberger studied philosophy, linguistics, and biology at the Universities of Tübingen and Berlin, Germany. A molecular biologist and historian of science, he was director at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin from 1997 to 2014. His current research interests include the history and epistemology of experimentation, the history of the life sciences, and the relation between the sciences and the arts. Among his more recent publications are: On Historicizing Epistemology (2010); An Epistemology of the Concrete (2010); Experimentalität. Gespräche über Archiv, Atelier und Labor (2017); The Hand of the Engraver. Albert Flocon Meets Gaston Bachelard (2018).