Download Bachelard: Science and Objectivity by Mary Tiles PDF

By Mary Tiles

This is often the 1st severely evaluative research of Gaston Bachelard's philosophy of technological know-how to be written in English. Bachelard's expert recognition used to be according to his philosophy of technology, notwithstanding that point of his idea has tended to be overlooked via his English-speaking readers. Dr Tiles concentrates the following on Bachelard's critique of clinical wisdom. Bachelard emphasized discontinuities within the heritage of technological know-how; specifically he under pressure the methods of wondering and investigating the area to be present in smooth technological know-how. This, because the writer indicates, is paralleled by means of these debates between English-speaking philosophers in regards to the rationality of technology and the 'incommensurability' of other theories. to those difficulties Bachelard can be taken as supplying an unique answer: instead of see discontinuities as a danger to the objectivity of technology, see them as items of the rational development of medical wisdom. Dr Tiles units out Bachelard's perspectives and seriously assesses them, reflecting additionally at the wider query of the way one may possibly investigate very likely incommensurable positions within the philosophy of technology in addition to in technological know-how itself.

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This kind of divergence in approaches to the philosophy of science reflects a deeper philosophic divergence between conceptions of reason and of rationality (reflected here in very different views of what will constitute a rational justification, and hence a justificatory analysis). Philosophers operating with different images of reason can be looking for quite different things when seeking to characterise the rational structure of scientific thought, or the rationality of science. Analytic philosophy shares with French philosophy the tendency to treat Descartes as a father figure.

171-4) of Descartes' discussion of the piece of wax, in the second of his Meditations. Here, by focussing his attention on a piece of wax, Descartes concludes: that perception of the wax is not sight, not touch, not imagination; nor was it ever so, though it formerly seemed to be; it is a purely mental contemplation (inspectio); which may be either imperfect or confused, as it originally was, or clear and distinct, as it now is, according to my degree of attention to what it consists in. 73) Descartes reaches this conclusion by arguing that because the piece of wax with its colour, shape, fragrance and consistency changes in respect of these properties when it is brought near the fire and melted, these sensed qualities cannot yield knowledge of the nature of wax - that substance which persists through the change.

It is not enough merely to have arrived at a conclusion (which may be correct); if we are to have any confidence in the result we must also have a conception of how we got there (Regulae, Rule X). If the emphasis on the reflective awareness of method is excised (as it is in the British empiricists), a quasi-perceptual reason, operating reflectively, can only reflect on and yield reflective awareness of passively received, present mental contents. This second reading of Descartes is implicit in Bachelard's epistemological emphasis on thought processes (as opposed to the static thought contents which analytic philosophers tend to emphasise) and on the consciousness of method.

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