Michel Serres and French Philosophy of Science: Materiality, Ecology and Quasi-Objects

London: Bloomsbury Academic (2022)
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Abstract

Massimiliano Simons provides the first systematic study of Serres' work in the context of late 20th-century French philosophy of science. By proposing new readings of Serres' philosophy, Simons creates a synthesis between his predecessors, Gaston Bachelard, Georges Canguilhem, and Louis Althusser as well as contemporary Francophone philosophers of science such as Bruno Latour and Isabelle Stengers. Simons situates Serres' unique contribution through his notion of the quasi-object, a concept, he argues, organizes great parts of Serres' work into a promising philosophy of science as well as a challenge to the narrower field of French epistemology, to which it has often been limited. Simons highlights how the concept encompasses Serres' commitment to positive relations between science and culture and his rejection of pleas to purify the scientific self from imaginative and cultural elements. It helps to situate Serres between the distinct traditions of Bachelard and Latour as well as progressing the innovative aspects of Serres' philosophy for current debates in the philosophy, history, and sociology of science. Showing how Serres' philosophy can serve as a normative approach to science and technology, Michel Serres and French Philosophy of Science takes in themes of materiality, religiosity, modernity and ecology to advance a timely alternative to philosophy of science for contemporary life.

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Massimiliano Simons
Maastricht University

Citations of this work

Self-Organizing Life: Michel Serres and the Problem of Meaning.Massimiliano Simons - 2023 - In Giuseppe Bianco, Charles T. Wolfe & Gertrudis Van de Vijver (eds.), Canguilhem and Continental Philosophy of Biology. Springer. pp. 209-232.
Jean-François Lyotard and Postmodern Technoscience.Massimiliano Simons - 2022 - Philosophy and Technology 35 (2):1-19.

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References found in this work

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A thousand plateaus: capitalism and schizophrenia.Gilles Deleuze - 1987 - London: Athlone Press. Edited by Félix Guattari.
Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to the Actor-Network Theory.Bruno Latour - 2005 - Oxford, England and New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.

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