Differentiation of the history of ideas and delineation of the history of knowledge in Sweden 2015 - 2020

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Stockholms universitet/Institutionen för kultur och estetik

Sammanfattning: This essay analyses the development of field and discipline formation in Sweden. A specific case is presented regarding the differentiation of the history of ideas, idéhistoria, and the delineation of the history of knowledge, kunskapshistoria, between 2015 and 2020. The distinction and differentiation between these disciplines has been contested by academics in related fields, who have questioned whether and what is new or distinct in the study of the history of knowledge and what prior disciplines and fields of study it draws on.  The aim of this study is to examine how the relationship between the two research fields is undertood by the academics that work in these fields themselves. The research question is: How is the interaction between the history of ideas and the history of knowledge described by Swedish scientists in papers published between 2015 and 2020? The study is based on scientific papers, anthologies, and book reviews written by Swedish scientists and mainly published in Swedish academic journals. The study shows that both research fields are developing towards eclecticism and internationalisation, both striving to participate in a broader international academic discourse. In both fields more publications are now written in English and fewer in Swedish. However, the predomination of English-language publications is more apparent in the new field of the history of knowledge. With respect to the history of ideas, the formative effects of institutionalisation as well as the importance of academic due due diligence i.e. engaging with the research in near-adjacent fields of study such as the study of the history of science, the history of medicine, and environmental history is apparent in the academic literature. The study indicates that Sweden has a potential of becoming a new research arena of some significance for generative and cooperatiion in humanistic science and thus of a general interest.            

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