Darwin-L Message Log 5:177 (January 1994)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

Note: Additional publications on evolution and the historical sciences by the Darwin-L list owner are available on SSRN.

<5:177>From erast@iozb.tartu.ee  Thu Jan 27 10:08:36 1994

To: Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: Erast Parmasto <erast@iozb.tartu.ee>
Date: Sun, 27 Jan 91 03:50:32 +0200 (EET)
Subject: Introduction

I am an old member of the DARWIN-L group (since Sept, 1993) but
have not yet introduced myself. - I am a mycologist (possibly
the only one in this list?), an old hand at systematics of a
big group of wood-rotting fungi (Hymenomycetes, esp. Corticiaceae)
who began as a typical representative of half-intuitive 'evolution-
ary taxonomy' in sixties and is up to his ears in cladistics now.
There are more than 1,300 species in this group, and this good number
rises a lot of method(olog)ical problems. Prevailing 'system' of
this group is alphabetical ordering nowadays.
   I have been a research associate since 1955 but am also a
1/4-time professor at Tartu University, and have enjoyed the privilege
to read courses on what I am fond of but not obliged to read.
Among these there is a course I have read some five years to under-
graduate students in biology under different headings: 'Foundations
of Scientific way of Thinking', 'Introduction to Science(s)',
'Methodology of Science(s)', 'What is Science?'.
   There is shortage in literature on this subject in Estonian
libraries (we have shortage of anything, however; Estonia has been
included to the list of _developing_ countries), and no ONE good book
for them. So I teach them to read articles (in Estonian) scattered in
several journals - including some on semiotics, general system theory,
logics, cybernetics, ethics, theology, ∧c. For myself, the best book
I appreciate is A.F. Chalmers' "What is this thing called Science"
(2nd Ed., reprinted 1992; Open University Press); hopefully a translation
of it will be published in Estonian this year.
   Now there is a question for anybody. I have seen an ad:
   "Science as a Way of Knowing. The Foundations of Modern Biology" had
to be published by the Harvard UP in 1993. I tried to see it using
interlibrary loan system but was told recently that there is no copy
of it in all Scandinavian libraries.
   - Has anybody seen it; WHAT a book it is?
   I'm sorry my English is not very good; anyway, this text has been
checked by GRAMMATIC IV Vers. 2.0; consequently, all orthographic, stylistic
and grammatical mistakes are not mine but its (his?) fault.

Erast Parmasto, Prof., D.Sc.             Phone: +372 3477175
Institute of Zoology & Botany,           Fax:   +372 3433472
   Estonian Academy of Sciences          Internet: erast@iozb.tartu.ee
21 Vanemuise St.
EE 2400 Tartu

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