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Introduction to the Symposium “Curiosity, Imagination, and Surprise”

Including a Symposium on Mary Morgan: Curiosity, Imagination, and Surprise

ISBN: 978-1-78756-424-4, eISBN: 978-1-78756-423-7

Publication date: 24 October 2018


This introduction to the Symposium “Curiosity, Imagination, and Surprise” discusses some of the characteristics of Mary Morgan’s approach to study science, which she labels as “naturalized philosophy of science.” One of these characteristics is the usage of a carefully chosen vocabulary. These concepts are usually unconventional and open-ended with the aim of illuminating the practice under study. Another characteristic of her approach is that it is curiosity-driven, which becomes clear by the kind of typical questions she asks. A third characteristic is that her approach is case-study based, with its typical features, such as the investigation of a bounded “real-life” whole, its attitude of open-endedness, the usage of multiple research methods and its complex, often-narrated outcome.




We would like to thank Jeff Biddle, Chung-Tang Cheng, Verena Halsmayer, Conrad Heilmann, Ling-Fan Li, Robert Meunier, Erich Pinzon-Fuchs, David Teira, and Norton Wise for their comments and suggestions, which enabled us to improve the contributions to this symposium considerably.

We would also like to thank the Descartes Centre for the History and Philosophy of the Sciences, and in particular, Ariane den Daas, the Descartes Centre’s Management Coordinator, for having been an excellent and pleasant host of the “Curiosity, Imagination and Surprise Conference” held at Utrecht University, September 1–2, 2017. We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Descartes Centre and the University of Amsterdam.


Boumans, M. (2018), "Introduction to the Symposium “Curiosity, Imagination, and Surprise”", Including a Symposium on Mary Morgan: Curiosity, Imagination, and Surprise (Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology, Vol. 36B), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 3-10.



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