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On the Origin and Development of Scientific Concepts: Light Rays and Lines of Force – Friedrich Steinle

May 22 @ 17:00 - 18:30


In studying the historical dynamics of scientific knowledge, concepts constitute central objects. Their study, however, poses difficulties and challenges that have to do with their specific character as basic components of scientific thought: Much as in everyday life, they are constantly used but scarcely addressed as such. While we speak about chairs, cats and cauliflower, or about temperature, bacteria, and oxygen, we rarely put those concepts themselves in question. At the same time, processes of their formation and development are shaped by a bewildering variety of factors, including wider cultural aspects. Historical studies help us understanding both the complexity of scientific concept formation and its implications, i.e. the historical baggage of scientific concepts. In my talk, I shall discuss those features and illustrate them by two cases from the history of physical sciences: light rays and lines of force.

This event is part of our summer semester 2024 Lecture Series Lifelikeness.

If you would like to attend, please write a short email to events@khk.rwth-aachen.de.


May 22
17:00 - 18:30
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Theaterstraße 75
Aachen, 52062 Germany
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