From One Gnomon to Two Gnomons: A Methodological Study of the Method of Double Differences

  • Ko-Wei Lih
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 141)


“Philosophy of science without history of science is empty; history of science without philosophy of science is blind.” Taking its cue from this paraphrase of Kant’s famous dictum, Imre Lakatos in his ‘History of science and its rational reconstruction’1 explained how the historiography of science should learn from the philosophy of science and vice versa. He argued that

(a) philosophy of science provides normative methodologies in terms of which the historian reconstructs ‘internal history’ and thereby provides a rational explanation of the growth of objective knowledge; (b) two competing methodologies can be evaluated with the help of (normatively interpreted) history; (c) any rational reconstruction of history needs to be supplemented by an empirical (socio-psychological) ‘external history’.


Double Difference Front Pole Rational Reconstruction Subsolar Point Scientific Research Programme 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

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  • Ko-Wei Lih

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