The instant -- The problem of habit and discontinuous time -- The idea of progress and the intuition of discontinuous time -- Conclusion -- Appendix A: "Poetic instant and metaphysical instant" by Gaston Bachelard -- Appendix B: Reading Bachelard reading Siloe: an excerpt from "Introduction to Bachelard's poetics" by Jean Lescure -- Appendix C: A short biography of Gaston Bachelard.
The classic book on how we experience intimate spaces. "A magical book. . . . A prism through which all worlds from literary creation to housework to aesthetics to carpentry take on enhanced--and enchanted-significances. Every reader of it will never see ordinary spaces in ordinary ways. Instead the reader will see with the soul of the eye, the glint of Gaston Bachelard." --from the foreword by John R. Stilgoe 6473-4 / $15.00tx / paperback.
A central theme in the Christian contemplative tradition is that knowing God is much more like ‘unknowing’ than it is like possessing rationally acceptable beliefs. Knowledge of God is expressed, in this tradition, in metaphors of woundedness, darkness, silence, suffering, and desire. Philosophers of religion, on the other hand, tend to explore the possibilities of knowing God in terms of rational acceptability, epistemic rights, cognitive responsibility, and propositional belief. These languages seem to point to very different accounts of how it (...) is that we come to know God, and a very different range of critical concepts by which the truth of such knowledge can be assessed. In this paper, I begin to explore what might be at stake in these different languages of knowing God, drawing particularly on Alvin Plantinga’s epistemology of Christian belief. I will argue that his is a distorted account of the epistemology of Christian belief, and that this has implications for his project of demonstrating the rational acceptability of Christian faith for the 21st century. (shrink)
In this essay, Perraudin sets out to contrast the competing philosophies of time and imagination of two major French thinkers of the twentieth century: Henri Bergson (1859–1941) and Gaston Bachelard (1884–1962). Despite Bachelard’s polemical approach vis-à-vis philosophical tradition in his works on epistemology and poetics, his accounts of time and imagination have been shown by several critics to be significantly influenced and inspired by his predecessor. Perraudin nonetheless argues that Bachelard’s critique of Bergson’s theory of continuous temporality (...) opens the way—through the subtle dialectics of his “philosophy of no”—to more prolific, and as yet untapped, therapeutic possibilities in our understanding of time and imagination than Bergson’s accounts of continuum of the élan vital had managed to reveal. (shrink)
: The paper aims at an analysis of the oeuvre of the French historian of science and epistemologist Gaston Bachelard (1884–1962). Bachelard was the founder of a tradition of French thinking about science that extended from Jean Cavaillès over Georges Canguilhem to Michel Foucault. In the past, he has become best known and criticized for his postulation of an epistemological rupture between everyday experience and scientific experience. In my analysis, I emphasize another aspect of the work of (...) class='Hi'>Bachelard. It is the way he conceptualizes the relation between scientific thinking and technology in modern science. Within this framework, the notion of "phenomenotechnique" is of crucial importance. It is one of the organizing concepts of Bachelard's historical epistemology, and it serves as the organizing center of this paper. (shrink)
A psychology, Phenomenology and ontology of creativity developed by this french epistemologist and historian of science (1884-1962) are systematically described. Starting from analysis of image networks in literature, Bachelard presents imagination as autonomous, A power of human transcendence, A force preceding perception and memory. He ultimately surpasses psychological reductionism. Imagination of form is inferior to imagination of matter (depth); yet they both are secondary to dynamic imagination. Bachelard's fundamental method is a phenomenological study of images as origins of (...) consciousness; a phenomenology of reverie and writing underlies his ontology. Reverie is the model upon which imaginative consciousness is judged. Man should extend the freedom and beauty of his inner cosmos to enhance relation with the world. (shrink)
Bachelard regarded the scientific changes that took place in the early twentieth century as the beginning of a new era, not only for science, but also for philosophy. For him, the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics had shown that a new philosophical ontology and a new epistemology were required. I show that the type of philosophy with which he was more closely associated, in particular that of Léon Brunschvicg, offered to him a crucial starting point. Brunschvicg never considered (...) scientific objects as independent of the mind, and as a consequence questions such as the existence of particles independently of the mind, theory or apparatus, were absent from his philosophy, which was rather aimed at analyzing the mind critically, and above all historically. Bachelard accepted the fundamental ideas of Brunschvicg’s philosophy; however, his own reading of contemporary science enabled him to go beyond it, as shown by his emphasis on the social production of knowledge, and by his removal of the distinction between ideas and technologically produced objects of knowledge. For him, modern science teaches philosophy that knowledge is not a phenomenology but rather a ‘phenomenotechnique’. I argue that Bachelard’s view that philosophy ‘should follow science’ stems from moral considerations. (shrink)
This paper aims to trace the evolution of Bachelard''s thought as he gropes toward a concrete formulation of a philosophy of the imagination. Reverie, the creative daydream, occupies the central position in Bachelard''s emerging metaphysic, which becomes increasingly phenomenological in a manner reminiscent of Husserl. This means that although Bachelard does not use Husserlian terms, he appropriates the following features of (Husserlian) phenomenology: 1. a desire to embracket the initial (rationalistic) impulse; and 2. an aspiration to apprehend (...) in its entirety, the creative epiphany of an image. Ultimately, this paper aims to show that there is a sense in which Bachelard''s metaphysical concerns in his poetics are an outgrowth of (rather than radical break from) his earlier scientific and epistemological concerns. What results in reverie is an aesthetic intentionality providing a metaphysic of the imagination: the aesthetic object, such as fire or water, is an object only insofar as it enables/calls forth a subject to enter into a receptive, self-aware and cosmic state of being; subject-ness and object-ness are intimately and archetypally intertwined. Bachelard''s new poetics results from his transplantation/cross-fertilization of the general epistemology of the new scientific spirit on to/across his aesthetics. (shrink)
This is the first critically evaluative study of Gaston Bachelard's philosophy of science to be written in English. Bachelard's professional reputation was based on his philosophy of science, though that aspect of his thought has tended to be neglected by his English-speaking readers. Dr Tiles concentrates here on Bachelard's critique of scientific knowledge. Bachelard emphasised discontinuities in the history of science; in particular he stressed the new ways of thinking about and investigating the world to be (...) found in modern science. This, as the author shows, is paralleled by recent debates among English-speaking philosophers about the rationality of science and the 'incommensurability' of different theories. To these problems Bachelard might be taken as offering an original solution: rather than see discontinuities as a threat to the objectivity of science, see them as products of the rational advancement of scientific knowledge. Dr Tiles sets out Bachelard's views and critically assesses them, reflecting also on the wider question of how one might assess potentially incommensurable positions in the philosophy of science as well as in science itself. (shrink)
In recent years several philosophers have sought a defense for scientific realism in Bachelard's work. Two notable examples are Garry Gutting and Mary Tuiattas. This paper shows that such views are based on systematic miss-readings of some of Bachelard's main concepts. The main realist approach has been to show that Bachelard's idea of "phenomeno techniques" corresponds with Nacting's experimental realism. This paper corrects that thesis. In addition to correcting some readings of Bachelard, if this paper is (...) correct, that approach to defending scientific realism is ruled out. (shrink)
Bachelard (1884-1962) generated a corpus numbering in the dozens of books, with topics ranging from the philosophy of science to poetry, some translated from the French into English. Moreover, his works have provoked at least that number of seldom-translated major studies by others. Bachelard reads as a modern, even post-modern, scholar. His polemical position as an anti-positivist and his fascination with dynamical process place him in the emerging paradigm within semiotics' major tradition. This paper explores Bachelard's resonance (...) with semiotic issues in the philosophy of science and his relevance to contemporary dialectics. (shrink)
La primera recepción española de la obra epistemológica de Gaston Bachelard tuvo lugar en las décadas de 1940 y 1950. José Pemartin y especialmente Carlos París y Roberto Saumells fueron los filósofos españoles más relevantes que leyeron y utilizaron los escritos históricos y epistemológicos de Bachelard. Estos fueron utilizados para respaldar un realismo ontológico más sofisticado pero no incompatible con el realismo escolástico que prevalecía en la filosofía académica española de esa época. En este artículo exploramos el contexto (...) de esta recepción desde una perspectiva sociofilosófica. (shrink)
This paper aims to trace the evolution of Bachelard's thought as he gropes toward a concrete formulation of a philosophy of the imagination. Reverie, the creative daydream, occupies the central position in Bachelard's emerging metaphysic, which becomes increasingly “phenomenological” in a manner reminiscent of Husserl. This means that although Bachelard does not use Husserlian terms, he appropriates the following features of (Husserlian) phenomenology: 1. a desire to “embracket” the initial (rationalistic) impulse; and 2. an aspiration to apprehend (...) in its entirety, the creative epiphany of an image. Ultimately, this paper aims to show that there is a sense in which Bachelard's metaphysical concerns in his poetics are an outgrowth of (rather than radical break from) his earlier scientific and epistemological concerns. What results in reverie is an aesthetic intentionality providing a metaphysic of the imagination: the aesthetic object, such as fire or water, is an object only insofar as it enables/calls forth a subject to enter into a receptive, self-aware and cosmic state of being; subject-ness and object-ness are intimately and archetypally intertwined. Bachelard's “new poetics” results from his transplantation/cross-fertilization of the general epistemology of the “new scientific spirit” on to/across his aesthetics. (shrink)
Outside France the epistemology of G. Bachelard is unknown ; in France his influence is considerable, especially on philosophers like L. Althusser, M. Foucault, G. Canguilhem, J. Hyppolite, M. Serres, G. G. Granger, D. Lecourt and many others. Bachelard occupies a strategic point on the crossroads of all theoretical debates concerning science. The fact that he seems to give satisfactory answers on the problems which have risen after the breakdown of the logical-positivistic philosophy of science, justifies an exposition (...) and evaluation of his original contribution to philosophy. The author distinguishes the following items. 1. The determination of Bachelards philosophy as a scientific philosophy which is wedded to a history of the sciences, especially the natural sciences. 2. The 'systematicity' as the criterium of science against other, traditional, criteria like empiricalness, logical deducibility, correspondence with reality and so on. 3. The rectification-principle : the formation of a scientific system cannot be conceived otherwise than as the restructuring or reorganisation of the ruling system or system-sets. 4. The transformation of scientific knowledge shows many discontinuities in all its phases and branches. Bachelard calls them ruptures. 5. The translation of a theory into another, more coherent and comprehensive one, is baptised as a 'dialectisation' of the concept. By a dialectisation a system is both generalised and specified. Formal logic, which is based on identity and the principle of the excluded middle, is not able to interprete this dynamic aspect of scientific thinking. 6. Central in Bachelards philosophy is also the concept of recurrence. Each new organisation of the scientific system (global or partial) sheds new light on their history and their logical foundations. History has to be rewritten after each progress. Recurrence, however, also has systematic implications. Science always desimplifies its own evidences. 7. The scientist has to demolish the obstacles which he made himself by surcharging the content of the concepts not in use and by not assimilating them in the system. 8. Bachelards philosophy of science is both idealistic and realistic ; the phenomenology becomes phenomenotechnique under the hands and in the brains of the scientist. 9. He always denies (negativity) the earlier theories and objects by incorporating them in new relationships. 10. This constructive aspect of theory formation is the same in natural science and mathematics. Bachelard opposes the logical-positivistic idea that these are methodically dissimilar. In a critical commentary the author discusses the question of 'dialectical logic' in the sciences, in relation to some recent research in this field by I. Lakatos en Errol E. Harris. In his opinion the epistemology of Bachelard affords a creative renewal of the understanding of science, although further research is needed in many aspects. (shrink)
El presente ensayo se articula en tres partes o momentos: primero, los fundamentos de una reflexión sobre el tema, afines pero no siempre coincidentes con el pensamiento de Bachelard. En segundo lugar, se presenta un diálogo con la poética de los elementos de Bachelard; en tercer lugar, se plantean las conclusiones acerca de estas reflexiones.
En este artículo revisaremos los puntos de contacto entre la concepción althusseriana de ideología y la noción de conocimiento común expuesta por Bachelard y sus relaciones con la práctica científica. Encontramos en la obra de Althusser, resonancias de las concepciones de Bachelard, en la mirada crítica hacia el empirismo, las influencias del psicoanálisis, el hincapié en el trabajo de ruptura y construcción de la ciencia frente al conocimiento común (Bachelard) o frente a la ideología (Althusser). En términos (...) amplios, podemos decir que ambos comparten la crítica a la operación de lectura inmediata-ideológica, que, fundamentada en una pretendida transparencia de la visión en la cual los los ‘hechos’ tienen la evidencia de datos absolutos que toma como se ‘dan’, sin pedirles cuenta. Aquí, la ruptura se establece en el instante mismo en que se comprende que ninguna lectura es inocente sino que se asienta en una concepción del conocimiento, más o menos consciente. En este sentido, Althusser señala la necesidad en la práctica científica de formular la pregunta por lo ‘dado’ y pensar la estructura teórica del objeto-problema. Tal señalamiento remite al texto de Bachelard: “Nada es espontáneo. Nada está dado. Todo se construye.”. (shrink)
This essay examines animality through an analysis of Les Chants de Maldoror, an obscure but influential nineteenth-century text by the Comte de Lautréamont. Drawing upon the work of Gaston Bachelard as well as the apophatic tradition in Christian mysticism, Les Chants de Maldoror can be read as a text that complicates the boundary between animality and spirituality, producing an ?apophatic animality? that ultimately impacts the poetics of the text itself.
It is argued that Bachelard's work in the philosophy of science is not concerned only with many of the questions which characterize contemporary Anglo-American debates. Through a radical reappraisal of the functions of experimentation, it also proposes a convincing way of analyzing the relations between theories and objects, explanations and events, which avoids both relativism and a return to naive correspondence theories.
The paper approaches the topic of what a general philosophy of science could mean today from the perspective of a historical epistemology. Consequently, in a first step, the paper looks at the notion of generality in the sciences, and how it evolved over time, on the example of the life sciences. In the second part of the paper, the urgency of a general philosophy of science is located in the history of philosophy of science. Two attempts at the beginning of (...) the twentieth century are particularly highlighted: that of Karl Popper and that of Martin Heidegger. Both of them concentrate, albeit in widely different form, on the phenomenon of research as an open-ended process. This trend is even more pronounced in Gaston Bachelard’s version of a historical epistemology, whose work is taken as a point of reference for a general historical epistemology of research. The paper concludes with a plea to look, with Georges Canguilhem, at the history of the sciences as a laboratory for epistemology. (shrink)