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 technology to be written in English. Bachelard's expert popularity used to be according to his philosophy of technology, although that element of his proposal has tended to be overlooked by means of his English-speaking readers. Dr Tiles concentrates right here on Bachelard's critique of clinical wisdom. Bachelard emphasized discontinuities within the historical past of technology; particularly he under pressure the methods of brooding about and investigating the area to be present in glossy technology. This, because the writer indicates, is paralleled by way of these debates between English-speaking philosophers in regards to the rationality of technological know-how and the 'incommensurability' of alternative theories. to those difficulties Bachelard can be taken as supplying an unique answer: instead of see discontinuities as a danger to the objectivity of technological know-how, 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 examine possibly incommensurable positions within the philosophy of technology in addition to in technology itself.

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Sample text

This he could find only in the benevolence of his Creator, who could not have been so cruel as to have created him in such a way that his clear and distinct perceptions, which he is unable to doubt at the time of perception and which are therefore such that no alternative belief is subjectively possible, should nonetheless be distorted and objectively erroneous. Cartesian science is thus grounded in an a priori intuition of space, the clear and distinct perception of extension which guarantees the truth of the axioms of Euclidean geometry.

The problems arise when Descartes seeks absolute, cast-iron guarantees for the objective correctness of the insights gained by the reflective, methodical and discursive employment of reason. Descartes' procedure is reductive (NES p. 142), and the reduction is explicitly epistemological. He presumes that there are simple starting points for knowledge (epistemological foundations) and that these are found in our clear and distinct perception of simple ideas, such as the idea of extension, which grounds the self-evidence of the postulates of Euclidean geometry.

As Cassirer put it, from the viewpoint of the critical theory of knowledge: The epistemological exposition and evaluation of each new physical 7 Cf. 231. PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE 19 theory must always seek to indicate the ideal center and turningpoint around which it causes the totality of phenomena, the real and possible observations, to revolve, - whether this point is clearly marked or whether the theory only refers to it indirectly by the intellectual tendency of all its propositions and deductions.

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