By Mary Tiles

ISBN-10: 0511609094

ISBN-13: 9780511609091

ISBN-10: 0521248035

ISBN-13: 9780521248037

ISBN-10: 0521289734

ISBN-13: 9780521289733

This can be the 1st significantly evaluative research of Gaston Bachelard's philosophy of technological know-how to be written in English. Bachelard's expert popularity used to be in keeping with his philosophy of technology, even though that element of his concept has tended to be overlooked through his English-speaking readers. Dr Tiles concentrates the following on Bachelard's critique of medical wisdom. Bachelard emphasized discontinuities within the heritage of technological know-how; specifically he under pressure the methods of puzzling over and investigating the area to be present in sleek technology. This, because the writer indicates, is paralleled through these debates between English-speaking philosophers in regards to the rationality of technology and the 'incommensurability' of alternative theories. to those difficulties Bachelard should be taken as delivering an unique answer: instead of see discontinuities as a chance to the objectivity of technology, see them as items of the rational development of clinical wisdom. Dr Tiles units out Bachelard's perspectives and seriously assesses them, reflecting additionally at the wider query of the way one may well verify most likely incommensurable positions within the philosophy of technology in addition to in technological know-how itself.

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Extra info for Bachelard: Science and Objectivity

Sample text

Such conceptions are normally implicit in scientific practices; they are unreflectively taken on board by the participants in those practices in the course of their education. In this sense they can be metaphorically thought of as belonging to a collective unconscious. Continuing the psycho-analytic metaphor, Bachelard then talks of the epistemologist's task as a task of psycho-analysis, of uncovering and making explicit the values and metaphysical presuppositions implicit in the theoretical and experimental practices of scientists.

But for science, he says, it is different. Scientific progress is demonstrable and has been demonstrated. Moreover, the demonstration of this progress is an indispensable part of science teaching. e. current science includes within it, as an integral part, a perception of its own history, a perception which grounds its sense of the direction of its own progress. 35-7). Thus this scientifically internal history of science is necessarily evaluative. It cannot be merely descriptive but will be required to pass judgement, to evaluate some ideas negatively as epistemological obstacles which needed to be overcome and rejected, and others positively as epistemological acts of scientific genius.

Bachelard labels the result of this process a 'dialectical generalisation' (PN p. 137), of which more will be said in Chapter 4. It is a process of questioning and correcting both the content of our theories and the nature of our experimental and theoretical practices, our standards ofjustification. But since the search for secure foundations is renounced, this is not seen as a once-off questioning, as for Descartes, but as a process which has to be continually renewed. Proceeding in this way, we reject past positions only in the sense of correcting them.

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Bachelard: Science and Objectivity by Mary Tiles

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