Foucault Studies 21:159-183 (2016)

This article investigates the historical and philosophical background of the French tradition of historical epistemology. As a sort of ‘historical epistemology of historical epistemology,’ it traces some of the forces, incidents, and events that made possible the emergence of a new way of doing epistemology in the first half of the twentieth century in France. Three developments that occupy a position privilege in this narrative are: the collapse of German idealism, the birth of French positivism, and what the author calls ‘the crisis in the theory of science’ that swept over Europe in the early 1900s. These developments suggest that the emergence and development of historical epistemology was the effect of changes internal to the history of Western philosophy as much as a function of changes external to this history.
Keywords French philosophy   epistemology   history   German idealism   French positivism
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DOI 10.22439/fs.v0i0.5022
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