The Future of the History of Science: What isn't the History of Knowledge?


In this lecture, part of the prestigious international Dan David Prize awards ceremony in Tel Aviv, Lorraine Daston outlines how the history of knowledge is attempting to "deprovincialize" the history of science. Turning to the history of knowledge and its current predicaments, Lorraine Daston argues in this lecture that its boundaries, or lack thereof, are defined by contradistinction to the history of science. Like all definitions defined by contradistinction, this has made it a loose field that lacks coherence. Using cases in the history of science, Daston expresses hope that the analytical pressure that has made the history of science so distinctive—involving discussion with sociologists, philosophers, and anthropologists—can be applied to the concept of "knowledge."