[Humanist] 30.917 histories of the sciences and the humanities

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Tue Apr 25 07:21:19 CEST 2017

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 30, No. 917.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2017 10:34:11 +0100
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: histories of the sciences and the humanities

Those here who are interested in the entanglement of the humanities and 
the sciences, and so the applicability of the term 'sciences' to the 
humanities, as in the 'human sciences', will be interested in Lorraine 
Daston and Glenn W. Most, "History of Science and History of 
Philologies", Isis 106.2: 378-90. They argue that to understand the 
interrelations, even to see them at all,

> The focus on practices is key; by shifting the emphasis from what is
> studied to how it is studied, deep commonalities emerge among
> disciplines--”and intellectual traditions--”now classified as disparate.


> current ways of conceptualizing both the history of science and the
> history of the humanities have imposed anachronistic divisions among
> the great regions of knowledge and thereby obscured commonalities
> that are deeper, broader, and more enduring than this or that case
> study about specific instances of interaction, influence, or
> borrowing would suggest.

Since the digital humanities, when not directed outward to the study of 
effects e.g. in the twittersphere, is centrally concerned with practices 
or methods of doing scholarship, Daston (an historian of science) and 
Most (a classicist and historian of philologies) would seem very close 

One serious impediment to investigating these interrelations remains 
the persistent allergy to the sciences that debilitates so many in 
the humanities and impoverishes these disciplines. What is to be 
done about that?



Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/), Professor, Department of Digital
Humanities, King's College London; Adjunct Professor, Western Sydney
University and North Carolina State University; Editor,
Interdisciplinary Science Reviews (www.tandfonline.com/loi/yisr20)

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