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My Road to History of Science1

  • Hans-Jörg Rheinberger (a1)


Had anybody told me at the beginning of my university studies that I would end up as a historian of science, I would not only have shaken my head in disbelief, I would in all probability not even have understood the prophecy. When I left high school, my interests ranged from literary writing to the life sciences. After an initial attempt to study biochemistry, which I aborted after a year, my early university education was in philosophy, with an emphasis on continental philosophy, from Descartes to Spinoza, from Kant to Hegel, from Nietzsche to Heidegger, pretty much the curriculum that would dominate the vast majority of the philosophical institutes in German universities in the mid-1960s. Having moved from Tübingen to Berlin, in addition I absorbed early on, as part of a group of students around Jacob Taubes, what came to be subsumed under the label of structuralism and post-structuralism: linguistics and semiotics from the Prague School through Noam Chomsky to Julien Greimas, grammatology from Ignace Gelb to Jacques Derrida, historical epistemology in its latest, Canguilhemian and Foucauldian versions, literary theory as practiced by Roland Barthes, to mention just a few names that formed the horizon of our student reading circles.



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For Alexandre Métraux, friend and companion.



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Althusser, Louis. 1965. Pour Marx. Paris: Maspero.
Althusser, Louis, et al. 1965. Lire le Capital I et II. Paris: Maspero.
Althusser, Louis, et al. 1968. Lire le Capital I et II, new edition. Paris: Maspero.
Althusser, Louis. 1974. Philosophie et philosophie spontanée des savants (1967). Cours de philosophe pour scientifiques. Paris: Maspero.
Blumenberg, Hans. 2007. Theorie der Unbegrifflichkeit. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.
Canguilhem, Georges. 1966. Etudes d'histoire et de philosophie des sciences. Paris: Vrin.
Canguilhem, Georges. 1977. Idéologie et rationalité dans l'histoire des sciences de la vie. Paris: Vrin.
Derrida, Jacques. 1967a. Ecriture et différence. Paris: Editions du Seuil.
Derrida, Jacques. 1967b. De la grammatologie. Paris: Éditions de Minuit.
Derrida, Jacques. 1972. Die Schrift und die Differenz, translated by Gasché, Rodolphe. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.
Derrida, Jacques. 1974. Grammatologie, translated by Zischler, Hanns and Rheinberger, Hans-Jörg. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.
Feyerabend, Paul. 1970. “Against method.” Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 4:17130.
Feyerabend, Paul. 1975. Against Method. Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowldege. London: Verso.
Fleck, Ludwik. 1979. Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact, translated by Bradley, Frederick and Trenn, Thaddeus J.. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Fleck, Ludwik. [1935] 1980. Entstehung und Entwicklung einer wissenschaftlichen Tatsache. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.
Foucault, Michel. 1966. Les mots et les choses. Paris: Gallimard.
Foucault, Michel. 1969. Archéologie du Savoir. Paris: Gallimard.
Foucault, Michel. 1971. Die Ordnung der Dinge, translated by Köppen, Ulrich. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.
Foucault, Michel. 1973. Archäologie des Wissens, translated by Köppen, Ulrich. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.
Jacob, François. 1970. La logique du vivant. Une histoire de l'hérédité. Paris: Gallimard.
Jacob, François. 1972. Die Logik des Lebenden. Von der Urzeugung zum genetischen Code, translated by Jutta and Scherrer, Klaus. Frankfurt am Main: Fischer.
Latour, Bruno, and Woolgar, Steve. 1986. Laboratory Life: The Construction of Scientific Facts. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Lévi-Strauss, Claude. 1964–71. Mythologiques, vols. I to IV. Paris: Plon.
Lévi-Strauss, Claude. 1971–75. Mythologien, vols. I to IV, translated by Moldenhauer, Eva. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.
Monod, Jacques 1970. Le hasard et la nécessité. Essai sur la philosophie naturelle de la biologie moderne. Paris: Éditions du Seuil.
Monod, Jacques. 1971. Zufall und Notwendigkeit. Philosophische Fragen der modernen Biologie, translated by Griese, Manfred. Munich: Piper Verlag.
Staffan, Müller-Wille, and Rheinberger, Hans-Jörg. 2012. A Cultural History of Heredity. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Nietzsche, Friedrich. 1995. Unfashionable Observations, translated by Grey, Richard T.. Stanford CA: Stanford University Press.
Rheinberger, Hans-Jörg. 1997. Toward a History of Epistemic Things: Synthesizing Proteins in the Test Tube. Stanford CA: Stanford University Press.
Rheinberger, Hans-Jörg. 2001. Experimentalsysteme und Epistemische Dinge. Eine Geschichte der Proteinsynthese im Reagenzglas. Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag.
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Science in Context
  • ISSN: 0269-8897
  • EISSN: 1474-0664
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