Long-term Development of Knowledge

Long-term Development of Knowledge

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The history of scientific knowledge is characterized by recurrent phases of fundamental conceptual reorganization involving genetically related but mutually incompatible conceptual systems. At the same time, certain knowledge structures show a striking stability over long periods of time, often persisting through such phases of fundamental change. This aspect of continuity is essential for the historical understanding of processes of conceptual innovation. The study of the long-term development of knowledge, including scientific and other forms of knowledge, is therefore central to the study of structural changes in systems of knowledge to which the Department is dedicated. This study is pursued in four project contexts focusing, respectively, on spatial concepts, on cosmological models, on mechanical knowledge, and on modern science.