Book reviews in the history of knowledge

Authors

  • Aleksei Pleshkov Poletayev Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities, National Research, University Higher School of Economics (Moscow, Russian Federation)
  • Jan Surman Masaryk Institute and Archives of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Masarykův ústav a archiv Akademie věd České republiky) (Prague, Czech Republic); Founding editor of the online platform “History of Science in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe”

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.4467/2543702XSHS.21.018.14049

Keywords:

reviews, epistemic virtues, communal practices, scientific self, academic genre, future of humanities

Abstract

Academic reviewing, one of the communal academic practices, is a vital genre, in which epistemic virtues have been cultivated. In our article, we discuss reviews as a form of institutionalized critique, which historians could use to trace the changing epistemic virtues within humanities. We propose to use them analogously to Lorraine Daston’s and Peter Galison’s treatment of atlases in their seminal work Objectivity as a marker of changing epistemic virtues in natural sciences and medicine.

Based on Aristotle’s virtue theory and its neo-Aristotelian interpretation in the second half of the 20th century, as well as on its most recent applications in the field of history and philosophy of science, we propose a general conceptual framework for analyzing reviews in their historical dimension. Besides, we contend that the analysis of reviews should be carried out taking into account their historical context of social, political, cultural and media-environment. Otherwise, one may risks presupposing the existence of an autonomous, disconnected community of scholars.

Author Biographies

Aleksei Pleshkov, Poletayev Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities, National Research, University Higher School of Economics (Moscow, Russian Federation)

Jan Surman, Masaryk Institute and Archives of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Masarykův ústav a archiv Akademie věd České republiky) (Prague, Czech Republic); Founding editor of the online platform “History of Science in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe”

References

Allen, Danielle S. 2004: Talking to Strangers: Anxieties of Citizenship since Brown v. Board of Education. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004. ISBN: 978-0226014678.

Agassi, Joseph 2017: The Place of Dichotomies in Western Philosophy. Lecture at the International Conference “Academic Revolutions?” Understanding conceptual renewal and institutional innovation in the Modern World,” Poletayev Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities National, Research University “Higher School of Economics,” Moscow 12–13. October 2017. Available online (12 October 2017): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKqkfNMaQO8&t=10s.

Aristotle 2009: The Nicomachean Ethics. Translated by David Ross and Edited by Lesley Brown. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780199213610.

Bilhartz, Terry D. 1984: In 500 Words or Less: Academic Book Reviewing in American History. The History Teacher 17(4), pp. 525–536.

Creyghton, Camille; Huistra, Pieter; Keymeulen, Sarah; Paul, Herman 2016: Virtue language in historical scholarship: the cases of Georg Waitz, Gabriel Monod and Henri Pirenne. History of European Ideas 42(7), pp. 924–936, DOI: 10.1080/01916599.2016.1161536

Daston, Lorraine 1998: Academies and the unity of the sciences: disciplining the disciplines. Differences: a Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies 10(2), pp. 67–86.

Daston, Lorraine; Galison, Peter 2007: Objectivity. New York: Zone Books. ISBN: 9781890951795.

Daston, Lorraine; Sibum, Otto H. 2003: Introduction: Scientific Personae and Their Histories. Science in Context 16 (1/2), pp. 1–8. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S026988970300067X.

Dhondt, Pieter (ed) 2011: National, Nordic or European? Nineteenth-Century University Jubilees and Nordic Cooperation. Leiden and Boston: Brill. ISBN: 978-90-04-21694-5. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004218307.

Dhondt, Pieter (ed) 2014: University Jubilees and University History Writing: a Challenging Relationship. Leiden and Boston: Brill. ISBN: 978-90-04-21696-9. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004265073.

Echterhölter, Anna 2012: Schattengefechte. Genealogische Praktiken in Nachrufen auf Naturwissenschaftler 1710–1860. [in German] Göttingen: Wallstein. ISBN: 978-3835310711.

Engberts, Christiaan A. 2019: Conflicting virtues of scholarship : moral economies in late nineteenth-century German Academia. PhD Dissertation, Leiden University. Available online: https://hdl.handle.net/1887/81791.

Eskildsen, Kasper Risbjerg 2016: Scholarship as a Way of Life: Character and Virtue in the Age of Big Humanities. History of Humanities 1(2), pp. 387–397. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/687974.

Itakura, Hiroko; Tsui, Amy B.M. 2011: Evaluation in academic discourse: Managing criticism in Japanese and English book reviews. Journal of Pragmatics 43(5), pp. 1366–1379. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2010.10.023.

Larrègue, Julien; Mongeon, Philippe; Warren, Jean-Philippe; Sugimoto, Cassidy R.; Larivière, Vincent 2019: Reciprocity in Book Reviewing among American, British and Canadian Academics. Canadian Journal of Sociology 44(1), pp. 95–114. DOI: 10.29173/cjs29549.

Gael, Patricia 2012: The Origins of the Book Review in England, 1663–1749. Library 13 (1), pp. 63–89. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/library/13.1.63.

Galison, Peter 2008: Ten Problems in History and Philosophy of Science. Isis 99(1), pp. 111–124. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/587536.

Gelhard, Andreas; Hackler, Ruben; Zanetti, Sandro 2019: Einleitung. [In:] Epistemische Tugenden: Zur Geschichte und Gegenwart eines Konzepts. [in German] Edited by Andreas Gelhard, Ruben Hackler, Sandro Zanetti. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck. ISBN 978-3-16-154072-1. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1628/978-3-16-155463-6, pp. 1–8.

Giddens, Anthony 1970: Durkheim as a Review Critic. The Sociological Review 18(2), pp. 171–196. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-954X.1970.tb00189.x.

Gould, Thomas H. P. 2012: Do We Still Need Peer Review?: An Argument for Change. Lanham: Scarecrow Press. ISBN-13 : 978-0810885745

Habel, Thomas 2005: Deutschsprachige Rezensionszeitschriften der Aufklärung Zur Geschichte und Erschließung. [In:] Historische Presse und ihre Leser. Studien zu Zeitungen und Zeitschriften, Intelligenzblättern und Kalendern in Nordwestdeutschland. [in German] Edited by Peter Albrecht, Holger Böning. Bremen: Edition lumière. ISBN: 978-3934686236, pp. 42–77.

Hartley, James 2006: Reading and Writing Book Reviews Across the Disciplines. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 57(9), pp. 1194–1207.

Hadot, Pierre 2002: What is ancient philosophy? Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2002. ISBN 9780674013735.

Hicks, Daniel J.; Stapleford Thomas A. 2016: The Virtues of Scientific Practice: MacIntyre, Virtue Ethics, and the Historiography of Science. Isis 107(3), pp. 449–472. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/688346.

Hursthouse, Rosalind; Pettigrove, Glen 2003: Virtue Ethics. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Available online (18.06.2003): https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ethics-virtue/.

Krajewski, Markus 2016: Genauigkeit. Zur Ausbildung einer epistemischen Tugend im ’langen’ 19. Jahrhundert. Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte 39(3), pp. 211–220. [in German]. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/bewi.201601772.

Kurennoy, Vitaly A. 2020: Philosophy of Liberal Education: The Principles. Voprosy obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow 1, pp. 8–39.DOI: https://doi.org/10.17323/1814-9545-2020-1-8-39.

Lihackij Andrej A. 2018: Redakcionnaja politika i process recenzirovanija v zhurnale «Golos minuvshego» (nachalo XX veka). Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie 150(2), pp. 111–112. [in Russian].

Lihackij Andrej A. 2020: Recenzija v akademicheskih istoricheskih izdanijah konca XIX – nachala XX veka. [In:] Nauchnoe recenzirovanie v gumanitarnyh disciplinah. Zhanr, issledovanija, teksty.[in Russian] Edited by Aleksei Pleshkov, Natalja Dolgoroukova. Moscow: VShJe. ISBN: 978-5-7598-2127-4, pp. 90–109.

Lorenz-Meyer, Dagmar 2018: The Academic Productivist Regime: Affective Dynamics in the Moral-Political Economy of Publishing. Science as Culture, 27(2), pp. 151–174, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09505431.2018.1455821.

Löffler, Karin (ed) 2020: Wissen in Bewegung. Gelehrte Journale, Debatten und der Buchhandel der Aufklärung.[In German] Edited by Katrin. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag 2020. ISBN 978-3-515-12592-5.

Matveev, Sergei R. 2018: «Uchenyj-bol’shevik prizvan ocenivat’ obëktivno»: recenzii v sovetskoj istoricheskoj periodike 1930–1950-h godov. Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie 150(2), pp. 113–124. [in Russian]. DOI: https://doi.org/10.17323/978-5-7598-2127-4.

Mosbah-Natanson, Sébastien 2008: Internationalisme et tradition nationale: le cas de la constitution de la sociologie française autour de 1900. Revue d’Histoire des Sciences Humaines 18 (1), pp. 35–62. [In French]

Munck, Thomas 2010: Eighteenth-Century Review Journals and the Internationalization of the European Book Market. International History Review 32(3), pp. 415–35. https://doi.org/10.1080/07075332.2010.507343.

Nussbaum, Martha 1988: Non-Relative Virtues: An Aristotelian Approach. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 13(1), pp. 32–53. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4975.1988.tb00111.x.

Orteza Y Miranda, Evelina 1996: On Book Reviewing. The Journal of Educational Thought (JET) / Revue De La Pensée Éducative 30 (2), pp. 191–202. Available online (October 31, 2020): http://www.jstor.org/stable/23768989.

Ottner, Christine 2014: The Professionalization of the Historical Discipline: Austrian Scholarly Periodicals, 1840–1900. [In:] The Making of the Humanities, Volume III. Edited by Rens Bod, Jaap Maat, Thijs Weststeijn. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. ISBN: 9789048518449. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9789048518449-011, pp. 157–170.

Paul, Herman 2019: Germanic Loyalty in Nineteenth-Century Historical Studies: A Multi-Layered Virtue. História da Historiografia 12(30), pp. 16–43. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15848/hh.v12i30.1476.

Paul, Herman 2011: Performing History: How Historical Scholarship is Shaped by Epistemic Virtues. History and Theory 50(1), pp. 1–19. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2303.2011.00565.x.

Paul, Herman 2014: What is a scholarly persona? Ten theses on virtues, skills, and desires. History and Theory 53, pp. 348–371. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/hith.10717.

Paulitz, Tanja 2018: Objektive Distanz – subjektives Gefühl: Wissenschaftskultur, Geschlecht und die Praxis des Erkennens und Erfindens in den Technikwissenschaften. [In:] Epistemische Tugenden: Zur Geschichte und Gegenwart eines Konzepts. [In German] Edited by Andreas Gelhard, Ruben Hackler, Sandro Zanetti. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck. ISBN 978-3-16-154072-1. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1628/978-3-16-155463-6, pp. 121–134.

Päivi Oinas; Leppälä, Samuli 2013: Views on Book Reviews. Regional Studies 47(10), pp. 1785–1789. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00343404.2013.856530.

Plato 1987: Gorgias. Translated, with introduction and notes, by Donald J. Zeyl. Indianapolis: Hackett Pub. Co. ISBN: 0872200175.

Pleshkov, Aleksei; Surman, Jan 2020: Objectivity and Beyond: Interview with Lorraine Daston and Peter Galison, IQ: Research and Education Website. Available online: https://iq.hse.ru/en/news/397837371.html.

Pleshkov, Aleksei; Dolgoroukova, Natalja (eds.) 2020: Nauchnoe recenzirovanie v gumanitarnyh disciplinah. Zhanr, issledovanija, teksty. [in Russian] Moscow: VShJe. ISBN: 978-5-7598-2127-4. DOI: https://doi.org/10.17323/978-5-7598-2127-4.

Readings, Bill 1996: University in Ruins. Cambridge, MA; London: Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674929531.

Schnicke, Falko 2015: Die männliche Disziplin. Zur Vergeschlechtlichung der deutschen Geschichtswissenschaft 1780–1900. [In German] Göttingen: Wallstein. ISBN 978-3-8353-1756-7.

Shapin, Steven 2008: The Scientific Life: A Moral History of a Late Modern Vocation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN: 9780226750248.

Stepanov, Boris E. 2016: «Krizis zhanra»: Knizhnye recenzii v perspective issledovanij nauchnoj kommunikacii. Laboratorium. Zhurnal social’nyh issledovanij 1(8), pp. 82–106. [in Russian].

Stepanov, Boris E. 2020: Akademicheskie recenzii v obrazovatel’noj praktike i professional’noj samorefleksii. [In:] Nauchnoe recenzirovanie v gumanitarnyh disciplinah. Zhanr, issledovanija, teksty. Edited by Aleksei Pleshkov, Natalja Dolgoroukova. Moscow: VShJe. ISBN: 978-5-7598-2127-4, pp. 179–195. [in Russian].

Surman, Jan 2014: Divided Space – Divided Science? Closing and transcending scientific boundaries in Central Europe. [In:] Information beyond borders: international cultural and intellectual exchange in the Belle Époque. Edited by W. Boyd Rayward. Farnham, UK: Ashgate. ISBN 978-1-4094-4225-7, pp. 69–84.

Stöger, Alexander (2020): Epistemische Tugenden im deutschen und britischen Galvanismusdiskurs um 1800. Paderborn: Brill, Wilhelm Fink. [In German] ISBN: 978-3-7705-6548-1. DOI: https://doi.org/10.30965/9783846765487.

Topham, Jonathan R. 2013: Anthologizing the Book of Nature: The Circulation of Knowledge and the Origins of the Scientific Journal in Late Georgian Britain. [In:] The Circulation of Knowledge Between Britain, India and China: The Early Modern World to the Twentieth Century. Edited by Bernard Lightman, Gordon McOuat, Larry Stewart. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers. ISBN: 9789004 251410. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004251410_007, pp. 119–152.

Van Dongen, Jeroen; Paul, Herman 2017: Introduction: Epistemic Virtues in the Sciences and the Humanities. [In:] Epistemic Virtues in the Sciences and the Plato 1987: Gorgias. Translated, with introduction and notes, by Donald J. Zeyl. Indianapolis: Hackett Pub. Co. ISBN: 0872200175.

Pleshkov, Aleksei; Surman, Jan 2020: Objectivity and Beyond: Interview with Lorraine Daston and Peter Galison, IQ: Research and Education Website. Available online: https://iq.hse.ru/en/news/397837371.html.

Pleshkov, Aleksei; Dolgoroukova, Natalja (eds.) 2020: Nauchnoe recenzirovanie v gumanitarnyh disciplinah. Zhanr, issledovanija, teksty. [in Russian] Moscow: VShJe. ISBN: 978-5-7598-2127-4. DOI: https://doi.org/10.17323/978-5-7598-2127-4.

Readings, Bill 1996: University in Ruins. Cambridge, MA; London: Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674929531.

Schnicke, Falko 2015: Die männliche Disziplin. Zur Vergeschlechtlichung der deutschen Geschichtswissenschaft 1780–1900. [In German] Göttingen: Wallstein. ISBN 978-3-8353-1756-7.

Shapin, Steven 2008: The Scientific Life: A Moral History of a Late Modern Vocation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN: 9780226750248.

Stepanov, Boris E. 2016: «Krizis zhanra»: Knizhnye recenzii v perspektive issledovanij nauchnoj kommunikacii. Laboratorium. Zhurnal social’nyh issledovanij 1(8), pp. 82–106. [in Russian].

Stepanov, Boris E. 2020: Akademicheskie recenzii v obrazovatel’noj praktike i professional’noj samorefleksii. [In:] Nauchnoe recenzirovanie v gumanitarnyh disciplinah. Zhanr, issledovanija, teksty. Edited by Aleksei Pleshkov, Natalja Dolgoroukova. Moscow: VShJe. ISBN: 978-5-7598-2127-4, pp. 179–195. [in Russian].

Surman, Jan 2014: Divided Space – Divided Science? Closing and transcending scientific boundaries in Central Europe. [In:] Information beyond borders: international cultural and intellectual exchange in the Belle Époque. Edited by W. Boyd Rayward. Farnham, UK: Ashgate. ISBN 978-1-4094-4225-7, pp. 69–84.

Stöger, Alexander (2020): Epistemische Tugenden im deutschen und britischen Galvanismusdiskurs um 1800. Paderborn: Brill, Wilhelm Fink. [In German] ISBN: 978-3-7705-6548-1. DOI: https://doi.org/10.30965/9783846765487.

Topham, Jonathan R. 2013: Anthologizing the Book of Nature: The Circulation of Knowledge and the Origins of the Scientific Journal in Late Georgian Britain. [In:] The Circulation of Knowledge Between Britain, India and China: The Early Modern World to the Twentieth Century. Edited by Bernard Lightman, Gordon McOuat, Larry Stewart. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers. ISBN: 9789004251410. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004251410_007, pp. 119–152.

Van Dongen, Jeroen; Paul, Herman 2017: Introduction: Epistemic Virtues in the Sciences and the Humanities. [In:] Epistemic Virtues in the Sciences and the Humanities. Edited by Jeroen van Dongen, Herman Paul. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. ISBN: 978-3-319-48892-9, pp. 1–10.

Wang, Dongmei; An, Xuehua 2013: A Study of Appraisal in Chinese Academic Book Reviews. Journal of Language Teaching and Research 4(6), pp. 1247–1252. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4304/jltr.4.6.1247-1252.

Wald Valensky, Sandra 2010: Composition Under Review: A Genre Analysis of Book Reviews In Composition, 1939–2007. PhD Dissertation, Wayne State University. Available online: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/oa_dissertations/134/.

Wilholt, Torsten 2012: Die Freiheit der Forschung – Begründungen und Begrenzungen. Berlin: Suhrkamp. ISBN: 978-3-518-29640-0. [In German].

Downloads

Published

13-09-2021

How to Cite

Pleshkov, A., & Surman, J. (2021). Book reviews in the history of knowledge. Studia Historiae Scientiarum, 20, 629–650. https://doi.org/10.4467/2543702XSHS.21.018.14049

Issue

Section

HISTORY OF SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE