ABSTRACT

Most 19th-century theorists of science are classed today as “philosophers,” although virtually all had scientific training and a historical orientation. British theorists were concerned with the popular reception of science and the role of scientific reasoning in democratic decision-making processes. French theorists were concerned with science and technology as extensions of the state and instruments of social progress. German theorists were preoccupied with the division of academic labor in the emerging structure of the research university (Ben-David 1984: Chaps. 5-7). Ultimately, however, the cognitive exigencies of the modern world dictated the uses to which these theorists would put science and its history. For the most part, the uses have been highly “rhetorical.” These theorists sought ways to express scientific claims that would move appropriately educated audiences to support emergent scientific institutions for cognitive authority over their competitors-religion, craft guilds, folk wisdom, and explicitly pseudo-and antiscientific movements.