The flow of cognitive goods: A historiographical framework for the study of epistemic transfer

Rens Bod, Jeroen van Dongen, Sjang L. ten Hagen, Bart Karstens, Emma Mojet

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Abstract

    Historians of science have described various cases of disciplines influencing one another. Such exchanges across disciplinary boundaries often signal innovation, intellectual change, and breakthroughs. A satisfactory framework from which the historical phenomenon of epistemic transfer between disciplines can be studied systematically, however, has not yet been proposed. This essay introduces the notion of “cognitive goods,” a tool of knowledge making that can be transferred across disciplinary boundaries. Cognitive goods include, for example, methods, concepts, and instruments. The essay proposes to study historical interactions between disciplines as instances of the “flow” of cognitive goods. The notion of cognitive goodsmay serve as a springboard for a systematic analysis of flows occurring throughout the history of the disciplines. Such an analysis could be instrumental for an integrated historiography of knowledge, including the humanities and the natural and social sciences.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)483-496
    Number of pages14
    JournalIsis
    Volume110
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2019

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