Gaston Bachelard

From Academic Kids

Gaston Bachelard (June 27, 1884-1962) was a French philosopher and poet who rose to some of the most prestiguous positions in the French academy despite his humble origins.

Life and work

Bachelard was a postmaster (see mail) in Bar-Sur-Aube before studying physics and then finally becoming interested in philosophy. He was a professor at Dijon from 1930 to 1940 and then became the inaugural chair of history and philosophy of the sciences at the Sorbonne.

Bachelard's studies of the history and philosophy of science in such works as Le nouvel esprit scientifique and La formation de l'esprit scientifique was based on his vision of historical epistemology as a kind of psychoanalysis of the scientific mind. He argued against positivism and influential forms of neo-Kantianism that science always leaves epistemology behind. Kant and Comte had simply extrapolated on the work of Newton, but Newton had been left behind by the Theory of Relativity. This position should not be confused with empiricism. Bachelard was a rationalist in the Cartesian sense. Thomas S. Kuhn used Bachelard's notion of "epistemological rupture" as re-interpreted by Alexandre Koyr to develop his theory of paradigm shifts.

In the English-speaking world, the connection Bachelard made between psychology and the history of science has been little understood. His work is often perceived as dealing with many diverse topics such as poetry, dreams, psychoanalysis, and the imagination, rather then the single topic of epistemology. His works on The Psychoanalysis of Fire and The Poetics of Space are among the most popular of his works in English.

Bibliography

Template:Quote His works include:

fr:Gaston Bachelard ja:ガストン・バシュラール sk:Gaston Bachelard

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