[SydPhil] HPS Research Seminar S2 2019" - HISTORY IS PECULIAR
debbie.castle at sydney.edu.au
Wed Aug 14 15:01:28 AEST 2019
SCHOOL OF HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE
IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE
SYDNEY CENTRE FOR THE FOUNDATIONS OF SCIENCE
SEMESTER TWO 2019 RESEARCH SEMINAR SERIES
DR ADRIAN CURRIE<https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/n-dgC5QZ29F73NMJTO7zFT?domain=us9.mailchimp.com>
University of Exeter
History is Peculiar
The mid-Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution was a critical event shaping the modern world, seeing radiations in mammals, squamate lizards, snakes, birds and (maybe) dinosaurs, as well as the emergence of flowering plants (angiosperms) and their accompanying menagerie of pollinating insects. The revolution is at least in part thought to be related to the contemporaneous final breakup of Pangea into smaller continents, and the new angiosperm-insect alliance is also cited as driving radiations in other lineages.
It is often thought that historical explanation is in some sense narrative explanation, or at least that history is particularly suited to narrative forms. For instance: perhaps shifting from the relatively homogenous Pangea to the more heterogeneous modern continents led to a wider variety of habitats with more haphazardly distributed taxa, thus opening the door to diversification in the mid-Cretaceous. This connection between narrative and history has led some to ask whether there is some logic or essential property to narratives, others to draw links between the literary and the historical, and others to question whether narrative structures are discovered or constructed.
I have a hunch about what makes narratives powerful answers to historical questions, which emerges from a hunch I have about why history matters for knowledge. I’ll draw on recent philosophical work on contingency to construct a notion of peculiarity. I’ll suggest that narratives are particularly well suited to understanding peculiarity. Because history is often peculiar, historians often adopt narrative strategies to explain it.
WHEN: 5.30PM MONDAY 19th AUGUST 2019
WHERE: LEVEL 5 FUNCTION ROOM
F23 ADMINISTRATION BUILDING<https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/BoCYC81Zj6t0W4XGtoMN3O?domain=us9.mailchimp.com>
ATTENDANCE IS FREE AND ALL ARE VERY WELCOME
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