Dogmatism is generally regarded as a bad thing. For scientists in particular, there are few more disconcerting vices than dogmatism. But what exactly does this term mean? Where does it come from and how does its centuries-long history resonate in current debates? A new open access book, co-authored by Herman Paul and Alexander Stoeger, traces the history of dogmatism as a scholarly vice term. Starting in ancient Greece, but with… Read More »New book: Dogmatism: On the History of a Scholarly Vice (open access)
New article: “Objectivity, honesty, and integrity: How American scientists talked about their virtues, 1945–2000”
What kind of people make good scientists? What personal qualities do scholars say their peers should exhibit? And how do they express these expectations? A new, co-authored article from the “Scholarly Vices” team, accepted for publication in the journal History of Science, explores these issues by mapping the kinds of virtues discussed by American scientists between 1945 and 2000. Our wide-ranging comparative analysis maps scientific virtue talk across three distinct disciplines –… Read More »New article: “Objectivity, honesty, and integrity: How American scientists talked about their virtues, 1945–2000”
New partner project: “Scholarly Virtues and Vices in Nineteenth-Century Russian/Ukrainian Historiography”
A grant from the Dutch Research Council will allow Viacheslav Grekov (Kharkiv) to join the “Scholarly Vices” project in Leiden with a one-year partner project on scholarly virtues and vices in nineteenth-century Russian/Ukrainian historiography. Grekov will examine how scholarly vices (dogmatism, prejudice, bias) and their positive counterparts (virtues like objectivity, impartiality, carefulness) were invoked in some of the most politically charged debates in nineteenth-century Russian/Ukrainian scholarship: the issue of ‘Rus’ history… Read More »New partner project: “Scholarly Virtues and Vices in Nineteenth-Century Russian/Ukrainian Historiography”
A report on the workshop “Scholarly Vices: Persistence, Transmission, Circulation” held in Leiden in August 2023 has appeared (in Dutch) in Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis. It can be found in open access here.
On August 23-25, 2023, the Leiden University Institute for History will host a three-day workshop on “Scholarly Vices: Persistence, Transmission, Circulation.” The event will bring together fifteen experts from across Europe and North America to discuss how and why scholarly vices persisted over time. Among the speakers are Richard Newhauser (Tempe, Arizona), Sorana Corneanu (Bucharest), Sari Kivistö (Tampere), Jamie Cohen-Cole (Washington D.C.), Arnoud Visser (Utrecht), Marian Füssel (Göttingen), Lukas Verburgt… Read More »Workshop on Persistence, Transmission, and Circulation of Scholarly Vices
Why did nineteenth-century German historians and physicists habitually warn against vices that they believed philosophers in particular embodied: speculation, absence of common sense, and excessive systematizing? Sjang ten Hagen and Herman Paul answer this question in their essay, “The Icarus Flight of Speculation: Philosophers’ Vices as Perceived by Nineteenth-Century Historians and Physicists,” published in open access in a special issue of the journal Metaphilosophy.
Project leader Herman Paul has edited a volume entitled Writing the History of the Humanities: Questions, Themes, and Approaches (2022). The volume showcases a range of perspectives from which the history of the humanities can be written. One chapter is devoted specifically to virtues and vices. Focusing on Geisteswissenschaftler in late nineteenth-century Strasbourg, it examines what virtues they cared about, what vices they warned their students against, and how these… Read More »Writing the History of the Humanities: with a chapter on virtues and vices
Why do historians so often talk about objectivity, empathy, and fair-mindedness? What roles do such personal qualities play in historical studies? And why does it make sense to call them virtues rather than skills or habits? Historians’ Virtues is the first publication to explore these questions in some depth. With case studies from across the centuries, the Element identifies major discontinuities in how and why historians talked about the marks… Read More »Historians’ Virtues: Open access book by Herman Paul
The latest issue of History of Humanities contains an article written in the context of the Scholarly Vices project: “Evaluating Knowledge, Evaluating Character: Book Reviewing by American Historians and Physicists (1900–1940)” by Sjang ten Hagen. Drawing on hundreds of book reviews, the article shows that categories of virtue and vice were attributed not only to authors (characters), but also to their output (books), ideas (theories), and research habits. Epistemic virtues… Read More »Evaluating Knowledge, Evaluating Character: New Article by Sjang ten Hagen
Three team members presented papers on scholarly vices in a panel at The Making of the Humanities – the annual gathering of historians of the humanities, held online this year. Sjang ten Hagen showed how historians and physicists in nineteenth-century Germany accused philosophers of speculation, to the point of “othering” philosophers into an antitype of a properly empirically oriented scientist. Herman Paul drew attention to the now almost forgotten vice… Read More »Historical Vice Epistemology: History of Humanities Meets Vice Epistemology