Response to Alexander Etkind’s review of Marina Mogilner’s Homo imperii: Istoriia fizicheskoi antropologii v Rossii

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Vera Tolz

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Abstract

Aleksandr Etkind’s review of Marina Mogilner’s book raises a broader issue about how histories of ideas and particularly histories of scientific and scholarly theories are and should be written. Etkind depicts what he believes is the dominant and the only productive approach to writing a history of scholarly thought. He then critically assesses Mogilner’s work against his own construct. In my comments I will first question Etkind’s perception of the current state of the historiography of scientific thought and then will try to show how it leads to a misrepresentation of what Mogilner has tried to do.
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