Gaston Bachelard


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Bachelard, Gaston

 

Born June 27, 1884, in Bar-sur-Aube; died Oct. 16, 1962. French philosopher who laid the foundation of so-called neorationalism. Member of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences (1955).

From 1919 to 1930, Bachelard was professor of physics and chemistry at the College of Bar-sur-Aube. Beginning in 1940 he was head of the department of history and philosophy of science at the Sorbonne and later at the Institute of the History of Science. The basic principle of Bachelard’s philosophy was the concept of “new scientific reason,” which according to Bachelard’s thought, was the expression of the contemporary stage of knowledge. In the spirit of neo-Kantianism, Bachelard argued that an object of scientific knowledge (for example, of contemporary physics) is not a reality but a model that is the result of prior logical and experimental activity. Here the direct facts of nature play the role of “pretexts” for scientific thought, not the role of objects of knowledge (see Le Nouvel Esprit scientifique, Paris, 1934, p. 6). Contact with the real elements of the world is possible by means of creative imagination, which acts through images.

WORKS

Le Rationalisme appliqué. Paris, 1949.
Le Matérialisme rationnel. Paris, 1953.

REFERENCES

Hommage à Gaston Bachelard. Paris, 1957.
Guillet, P. Bachelard: Présentation, choix de textes, bibliographic Paris, 1964.
Dagognet, F. Gaston Bachelard. Paris, 1965.

T. A. SAKHAROVA

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