Anneleise Maier's [1905-1971] Philosophy and History of Science

Gregory B. Moynahan

Bard College, Annandale, NY

Abstract: 
Anneleise Maier [1905-1971] was one of the most important and influential historians of medieval science of the twentieth century, but her innovative work is singular, I will argue, in that it developed fairly directly from her philosophical studies, notably her 1930 dissertation Kants Qualit├Ątskatagorien. In this talk, I will examine the connections between Maier's neo-Kantian philosophy and her understanding of both medieval natural philosophy and the meaning of historiography more generally. Maier's ability to see how natural science shaped the reality of historical actors will be considered in relation to her understanding of Kantian philosophy and its reading of the sciences, social and human. The family resemblance between her work and that of neo-Kantian historians such as Ernst Cassirer will be considered in light of this connection, with the goal being to illuminate the relation of a particular reading of the Kantian philosophy to a highly productive approach to the philosophy and history of science.