The hazards of trying to draw conclusions about all of science, by focusing narrowly on physics were learned at the end of the last century. However, including biology and chemistry are only the beginning, not the end, of the project of trying to develop a more well-rounded picture of science.--Alisa Bokulich
The quoted passage is from a terrific NDPR review by Bokulich that Catarina discussed yesterday. Bokulich notes that "Conspicuously absent from this list are any of the social sciences." Bokulich goes on to call attention to the works of four recent leading philosophers of social science--all of which happen to be women. [By the way, when later in the review Bokulich calls attention to the lack of representation of women in the volume (and the lack of focus on philosophy race/feminism) she does not refer back to her earlier discussion. This justifies Catarina's claim that Bokulich should be praised for the "elegant way" in which these issues are raised. ]
As the epigraph to this post suggests, our current understanding of the development of philosophy of science is that we are "trying" to develop it away from an exclusively physics focus to other sciences during the last few decades. (It was gratifying to read Bokulich's claim that philosophy of economics is "thriving.") But this leaves me with a puzzle: if one opens Ernest Nagel's (1961) The Structure of Science, one notes that three out of fifteen of chapters are exclusively focused on philosophy of social sciences and history. These together comprise 25% of the text. (This understates the situation because earlier chapters also discuss relevant material. There is is also a chapter on biology, by the way.) So, half a century ago one the most widely cited works in the philosophy of science (although probably unread these days unless one is interested in Nagel-reduction) by one of the professional leaders of the discipline (who arguably invented analytical philosophy as a category) at one of the then elite departments already was offering a "well-rounded" picture of science. How come this was not the norm in the profession?
PS This can't be the whole story, of course. Peter Winch's Wittgensteinian philosophy of science was also widely read, but Nagel mentions it only in a footnote (and rejects it polemically). Popper was, of course, extremely well known including in the social sciences.
PPS As I have pointed out before, Rawls (who understood all of these matters better than we do) had his own reasons for also telling the story in such a way in which active engagement with social science became less necessary.