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Studies in philosophy and history of science


The thematic research project, to be developed from 2001 to 2004,consists of two research lines which are complementaries: a theoretical line and a historical tine. The theoretical line comprises studies in three convergent directions: (i) logic and philosophy of science; (ii) metaphysics and (iii) historiography and sociology of science. In the first direction, we proceed to the logical analysis of the structure of scientific theories and to the discussion of philosophical (epistemological and methodological) conceptions concerning the nature and the dynamics of science. In the second, having in mind the questions related to the science of seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, we study comparatively two models of metaphysical foundation of science: Aristotle's ontological substantialist model and Kant's epistemological representationist model. In the third, we study the internal historiographical conceptions related to the rational development of science and the external sociological visions concerning the social conditioning of science, organized around three central questions: the these is on the rational development of science; the relation between philosophy and history of science and the distinction between internal history and external history. The studies in these three theoretical directions aim at the construction of an analytical framework that might serve as instrumental to the historical research tine, so that the latter mar fullfil two requisites: (1) rigorous internal analysis of the author's works considered in view of the internal intelligibility of the texts and (2) more attentive and better founded historical contextualization of the studied authors. The thematic core of the historical research tine is represented by the birth of modern science in sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and the impact of Newtonian paradigm on the physical and biological sciences during the eighteenth century. The historical studies have been done basically on the following five thematic groups: (a) reception of Aristotelian physics and the influence of medieval scientific thought on seventeenth century science: Philophonus, Oresme, Buridan, Avicena, Avempace and Averroes; (b) the astronomical revolution: Ptolemy, Copernicus, Brahe, Kepler, Galileo and Newton; (c) the science of mechanics: Archimedes; the schools of Oxford (Merton College) and of Paris (terminists); sixteenth century italian mechanics: Tartaglia and Benedetti; Galileo, Descartes, Mersennet, Huygens and Newton; (d) medicine and biology in sixteenth and seventeenth centuries: anatomy, physiology and generation in the works of Harvey, Descartes, Haller e Maupertuis; (e) the scientific revolution: Bacon, Descartes, Galileo, Mersenne, Boyle, Pascal, Huygens and Newton. The thematic project is directed to the consolidation and amplification of the researches developed since 1990 at the post-graduated program of philosophy of science of the Department of Philosophy of USP. The project aims, therefore, at a consolidation of a common theoretical basis, which defines a style of philosophical-historical analysis of scientific works, giving an analytical framework which allows one to coordinate more effectively and to unify more profoundly the theoretical perspective of individual researches developed until the present. As to the amplification it is theoretical, aiming at, the introduction, in the sphere of individual works, of sociological and valuative discussions, to deepen the perspective of socio-cultural contextualization of authors and themes under study. However, it is also institutional, first, because it integrates the research activities developed at post-graduation program of the Philosophy Departments at FFLCH/USP and IFCH/UNlCAMP respectively by Profs. Drs. Pablo Rubén Mariconda e Fátima Regina Évora; second, because it extends the research program developed until now so that it incorporates organically a post-doctoral program. (AU)

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