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Encyclopedia > Gaston Bachelard
Western Philosophy
20th Century Philosophy
Name: Gaston Bachelard
Birth: 1884
Death: 1962
School/tradition:
Main interests: Philosophy of science
Notable ideas: "epistemological break"
Influenced: Pierre Bourdieu, Alexandre Koyré, Thomas S. Kuhn, Michel Foucault

Gaston Bachelard (June 27, 1884October 16, 1962) was a French philosopher and poet who rose to some of the most prestigious positions in the French academy. His most important work is in poetics and the philosophy of science. In philosophy of science he introduced the concepts of epistemological obstacle and epistemological break (obstacle épistémologique et rupture épistémologique). He influenced many French philosophers in the latter part of the twentieth century, among them Michel Foucault and Louis Althusser. Western philosophy is a modern claim that there is a line of related philosophical thinking, beginning in ancient Greece (Greek philosophy) and the ancient Near East (the Abrahamic religions), that continues to this day. ... The 20th century brought with it upheavals that produced a series of conflicts within philosophy over the basis of knowledge, with classical certainties thought to be overthrown, and new social, economic, scientific and logical problems, 20th-century philosophy was set for a series of attempts to reform and preserve, and... Year 1884 (MDCCCLXXXIV) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Thursday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... 1962 (MCMLXII) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar). ... Philosophy of science is the study of assumptions, foundations, and implications of science, especially in the natural sciences and social sciences. ... Pierre Bourdieu (August 1, 1930 – January 23, 2002) was an acclaimed French sociologist whose work employed methods drawn from a wide range of disciplines: from philosophy and literary theory to sociology and anthropology. ... Alexandre Koyré Alexandre Koyré (1882/1892, Taganrog - April 28, 1964, Paris) was a French philosopher of Russian origin who wrote on history and the philosophy of science. ... Thomas Samuel Kuhn (July 18, 1922 – June 17, 1996) was an American intellectual who wrote extensively on the history of science and developed several important notions in the philosophy of science. ... Michel Foucault (IPA pronunciation: ) (October 15, 1926 – June 25, 1984) was a French philosopher and historian. ... June 27 is the 178th day of the year (179th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 187 days remaining. ... Year 1884 (MDCCCLXXXIV) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Thursday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... October 16 is the 289th day of the year (290th in leap years). ... 1962 (MCMLXII) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar). ... A philosopher is a person who thinks deeply regarding people, society, the world, and/or the universe. ... The poor poet A poet is a person who writes poetry. ... The Académie française (French Academy) is the pre-eminent French learned body on matters pertaining to the French language. ... Philosophy of science is the study of assumptions, foundations, and implications of science, especially in the natural sciences and social sciences. ... Article to come soon, with notable examples through science history and articulations made up by Gaston Bachelard. ... Michel Foucault (IPA pronunciation: ) (October 15, 1926 – June 25, 1984) was a French philosopher and historian. ... Louis Pierre Althusser (Pronunciation: altuË¡seʁ) (October 16, 1918 – October 23, 1990) was a Marxist philosopher. ...

Contents

Life and work

Bachelard was a postmaster in Bar-Sur-Aube, and then studied physics before finally becoming interested in philosophy. He was a professor at Dijon from 1930 to 1940 and then became the inaugural chair in history and philosophy of the sciences at the Sorbonne. Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... It has been suggested that first class mail be merged into this article or section. ... Bar-sur-Aube is a commune of France, located in the Aube département, of which it is a sous_préfecture. ... Physics (Greek: (phúsis), nature and (phusiké), knowledge of nature) is the science concerned with the discovery and characterization of universal laws which govern matter, energy, space, and time. ... Dijon ( , IPA: ) is a city in eastern France, the préfecture (administrative capital) of the Côte-dOr département and of the Bourgogne région. ... History studies the past in human terms. ... Part of a scientific laboratory at the University of Cologne. ... The Sorbonne, Paris, in a 17th century engraving The historic University of Paris (French: ) first appeared in the second half of the 12th century, but was in 1970 reorganised as 13 autonomous universities (University of Paris I–XIII). ...


Bachelard's studies of the history and philosophy of science in such works as Le nouvel esprit scientifique ("The New Scientific Mind") (1934) and La formation de l'esprit scientifique ("The Formation of the Scientific Mind") (1938) were based on his vision of historical epistemology as a kind of psychoanalysis of the scientific mind. He argued against Comtean positivism that it had been superseded by such scientific developments as the theory of Relativity. It has been suggested that Meta-epistemology be merged into this article or section. ... Psychoanalysis is a family of psychological theories and methods based on the work of Sigmund Freud. ... // Positivism is a philosophy developed by Auguste Comte (widely regarded as the first true sociologist) in the middle of the 19th century that stated that the only authentic knowledge is scientific knowledge, and that such knowledge can only come from positive affirmation of theories through strict scientific method. ... Two-dimensional analogy of space-time curvature described in General Relativity. ...


In the English-speaking world, the connection Bachelard made between psychology and the history of science has been little understood. Bachelard demonstrated how the progress of science could be blocked by certain types of mental patterns, creating the concept of obstacle épistémologique ("epistemological obstacle"). One task of epistemology is to make clear the mental patterns at use in science, in order to help scientists overcome the obstacles to knowledge. Psychology (from Greek: ψυχή, psukhÄ“, spirit, soul; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is an academic/ applied discipline involving the scientific study of mental processes and behavior. ...


Through his concept of "epistemological break", Bachelard underlined the discontinuity at work in the history of sciences. (The term itself is almost never used by Bachelard, but became famous through Althusser.) A rationalist in the Cartesian sense, he opposed "scientific knowledge" to ordinary knowledge, and held that error is only negativity or illusion. The role of epistemology is to show the history of the (scientific) production of concepts; those concepts are not just theoretical propositions: they are simultaneously abstract and concrete, pervading technical and pedagogical activity. This explains why "The electric bulb is an object of scientifical thought… an example of an abstract-concrete object."[1] To understand the way it works, one has to pass by the detour of scientific knowledge. Epistemology is thus not a general philosophy that aims at justifying scientific reasoning. Instead it produces regional histories of science. In mathematics, a continuous function is one in which arbitrarily small changes in the input produce arbitrarily small changes in the output. ... Louis Pierre Althusser (Pronunciation: altuË¡seʁ) (October 16, 1918 – October 23, 1990) was a Marxist philosopher. ... This article is not about continental rationalism. ... René Descartes René Descartes (IPA: , March 31, 1596 – February 11, 1650), also known as Cartesius, worked as a philosopher and mathematician. ... The word error has different meanings in different domains. ... Negativity is the name given in philosophy to the negative element determinative or definitive of things and all ideas of things, whereby a thing is this because it is not that, and is seen to be this because it is seen not to be that, an antagonism essential to all... For other uses, see illusion (disambiguation). ... It has been suggested that Meta-epistemology be merged into this article or section. ... This article is about the philosophical term . ... Technic is a line of Lego interconnecting plastic bricks. ... Pedagogy is the art or science of teaching. ... Science is a body of empirical and theoretical knowledge, produced by a global community of researchers, making use of specific techniques for the observation and explanation of real phenomena, this techne summed up under the banner of scientific method. ...


Thomas S. Kuhn used Bachelard's notion of "epistemological rupture" (coupure or rupture épistémologique) as re-interpreted by Alexandre Koyré to develop his theory of paradigm shifts; Althusser and Michel Foucault also drew upon Bachelard's epistemology. Thomas Samuel Kuhn (July 18, 1922 – June 17, 1996) was an American intellectual who wrote extensively on the history of science and developed several important notions in the philosophy of science. ... Alexandre Koyré Alexandre Koyré (1882/1892, Taganrog - April 28, 1964, Paris) was a French philosopher of Russian origin who wrote on history and the philosophy of science. ... Paradigm shift is the term first used by Thomas Kuhn in his 1962 book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions to describe a change in basic assumptions within the ruling theory of science. ... Louis Pierre Althusser (Pronunciation: altuË¡seʁ) (October 16, 1918 – October 23, 1990) was a Marxist philosopher. ... Michel Foucault (IPA pronunciation: ) (October 15, 1926 – June 25, 1984) was a French philosopher and historian. ...


In addition to epistemology, Bachelard's work deals with many other topics, including poetry, dreams, psychoanalysis, and the imagination. The Psychoanalysis of Fire (1938) and The Poetics of Space (1958) are among the most popular of his works. The Chinese poem Quatrain on Heavenly Mountain by Emperor Gaozong (Song Dynasty) Poetry (from the Greek , poiesis, a making or creating) is a form of art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its ostensible meaning. ... Dreaming is the subjective experience of imaginary images, sounds/voices, thoughts or sensations during sleep, usually involuntarily. ... Psychoanalysis is a family of psychological theories and methods based on the work of Sigmund Freud. ... Phenomenology is the school of philosophy that claims to begin its analysis of existence with a careful study of human experience. ...


Quotations

  • Et, quoi qu’on en dise, dans la vie scientifique, les problèmes ne se posent pas d’eux-mêmes. C’est précisément ce sens du problème qui donne la marque du véritable esprit scientifique. Pour un esprit scientifique, toute connaissance est une réponse à une question. S’il n’y a pas eu de question, il ne peut y avoir de connaissance scientifique. Rien ne va de soi. Rien n’est donné. Tout est construit, Gaston Bachelard (La formation de l'esprit scientifique, 1934)
"And, irrespective of what one might assume, in the life of a science, problems do not arise by themselves. It is precisely this that marks out a problem as being of the true scientific spirit: all knowledge is in response to a question. If there were no question, there would be no scientific knowledge. Nothing proceeds from itself. Nothing is given. All is constructed."
  • It is the pen which dreams.
  • It is not a question of observation which propels mankind forward as if toward a looking glass of great magnitude; it is an instance of aggrandized reflection that insinuates the human psyche to the inhuman.

Bibliography

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Gaston Bachelard

His works include: Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Wikiquote is a sister project of Wikipedia, using the same MediaWiki software. ...

  • 1932: L'intuition de l'instant
  • 1934: Le nouvel esprit scientifique ISBN 2-13-044374-5
  • 1938: La formation de l'esprit scientifique ISBN 2-7116-1150-7
  • 1938: La psychanalyse du feu
  • 1940: La philosophie du non ISBN 2-13-052578-4
  • 1942: L'eau et les rêves ISBN 2-253-06099-2
  • 1943: L'air et les songes
  • 1946: La terre et les rêveries du repos ISBN 2-7143-0299-8
  • 1948: La terre et les rêveries de la volonté
  • 1949: Le Rationalisme appliqué (PUF, Paris)
  • 1958: La poétique de l'espace English translation ISBN 0-8070-6473-4
  • 1960: La poétique de la rêverie
  • 1961: La flamme d'une chandelle ISBN 2-13-053901-7

Year 1932 (MCMXXXII) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link will take you to a full 1932 calendar). ... Year 1934 (MCMXXXIV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display full 1934 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1938 (MCMXXXVIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ... Year 1938 (MCMXXXVIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... 1942 (MCMXLII) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1942 calendar). ... Year 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link will display full 1943 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1946 (MCMXLVI) was a common year starting on Tuesday. ... 1948 (MCMXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1948 calendar). ... 1949 (MCMXLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1949 calendar). ... Year 1958 (MCMLVIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1960 calendar). ... 1961 (MCMLXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (the link is to a full 1961 calendar). ...

Introduction

  • Cristina Chimisso, Gaston Bachelard: Critic of Science and the Imagination, Routledge 2001

Endnotes

  1. ^ in Le Rationalisme appliqué (PUF, Paris, 1949, 2e ed. of 1962, p.104ff).

See also

Philosophy Portal

  Results from FactBites:
 
bacherlad (1404 words)
Bachelard’s anti-positivist philosophy of science was developed in a number of texts between 1927 and 1953, anticipating some of the conclusions of Thomas Kuhn, though he was not to exert any direct influence on Anglo-Saxon philosophy of science.
Bachelard then uncovers the ‘unthought’ of philosophical discourse about science in a ‘recovering’, which also opens up the notions of the ‘unconscious’ and the ‘unthought’ and the further possibility of the ‘recovery’ of these by a ‘psycho-analysis of reason’.
Lecourt, Dominique (1975) Marxism and Epistemology: Bachelard, Canguilhelm, Foucault.
Gaston Bachelard - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (558 words)
Gaston Bachelard (June 27, 1884 – October 16, 1962) was a French philosopher and poet who rose to some of the most prestigious positions in the French academy despite his humble origins.
Bachelard's studies of the history and philosophy of science in such works as Le nouvel esprit scientifique ("The New Scientific Mind") (1934) and La formation de l'esprit scientifique ("The Formation of the Scientific Mind")(1938) were based on his vision of historical epistemology as a kind of psychoanalysis of the scientific mind.
Bachelard's work is often perceived as dealing with many diverse topics such as poetry, dreams, psychoanalysis, and the imagination, rather than the single topic of epistemology.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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