Kuhn’s Legacy: Theoretical and Philosophical Study of History

This paper considers the legacy of Kuhn and his Structure with regard to the current history and philosophy of science. Kuhn can be seen as a myth breaker, whose contribution is the way he connected historical and philosophical studies of science, questioning the cumulativist image and demanding historical responsibility of the views of science. I build on Kuhn’s legacy and outline a suggestion for theoretical and philosophical study of history (of science), which can be subdivided into three categories. The first is the philosophical analysis of historical interpretation and its relation to the historical record. The second is ‘theoretical history’ in which one tries to infer philosophically relevant interpretations on the nature of science on the basis of historical evidence. The third is the conceptual reflection of the assumptions and implications of the contemporary historiography of science. At the end I suggest that theoretical and philosophical study of history offers a fresh way to make history and philosophy relevant to each other.