Indeterminacy in the past?

Wes Sharrock, Ivan Leudar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article discusses some issues that arise from the fact of 'conceptual change'. We focus on the difficulties that Ian Hacking encountered when considering whether the consequence of conceptual change is the fact that the past of individual actions is indeterminate (Hacking, 1995). We consider his use of Anscombe's thesis on actions under description and find that he misrepresents it. We further find that he neglects tenses of descriptions and redescriptions, the contrast of which is essential to concepts that entail a contrast in understandings of how the matters were then, how they are now, or will be in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-115
Number of pages20
JournalHistory of the Human Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2002


  • Action
  • Anscombe
  • Hacking
  • History of psychiatry
  • Indeterminacy


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