Matteo Borri, Pierdaniele Giaretta

The Discovery of Alzheimer: A «Scientific Fact»?

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Alzheimer's Disease; History of Science; Epistemology of Diseases; Ludwik Fleck; Thomas Kuhn.

In this article we ask whether Aloysius Alzheimer's discovery, which we do not question scientifically, can be understood in the manner suggested by Ludwik Fleck in "Enstehung und Entwicklung einer wissenschaftlichen Tatsache" (1935). We believe that the issue may be of interest for various reasons. Firstly, Fleck's work anticipates in many respects the well-known and largely debated concept of development in science set forth by Thomas Kuhn in "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" (1962). Moreover, we are interested in the specific analysis that Fleck proposes in order to highlight the most general aspects of his way of conceiving the definition of «a» disease. Finally, we examine how the discovery of Alzheimer's Disease can be analyzed on the basis of the same categories elaborated by Fleck.

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