This book is not yet another modified version of the so-called biographism in science, so strongly criticized in the ‘serious’ literary studies and in other disciplines adopting the form of easy psychologism. The concept of ‘scientific biographies’ presented here originates from different assumptions and serves different objectives. It concerns a specific tension that is generated (and is usually declaratively ‘eliminated’ from the official theoretical position) between practicing purely cognitive knowledge and biographical-historical-contextual elements, which make up the so-called unofficial biography of a researcher. This tension manifests itself in various ways since there is a whole spectrum of possibilities in this respect. What is more, it sometimes happens that self-reflection becomes a key ingredient of practicing knowledge, as can be observed for example in the case of reflexive anthropology or even within the reflexive tum in the modern humanities. Scientific Biographies bring precisely such different dimensions of the newly conceived context vivisection of biographism.
Wojciech J. Burszta, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Warsaw