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Famous Like Me > Writer > B > Gaston Bachelard

Profile of Gaston Bachelard on Famous Like Me

Name: Gaston Bachelard  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 27th June 1884
Place of Birth: Bar-sur-Aube, France
Profession: Writer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Gaston Bachelard (June 27, 1884- October 16, 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 Koyré 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.


His works include:

  • 1932: L'intuition de l'instant
  • 1934: Le nouvel esprit scientifique ISBN 2130443745
  • 1938: La formation de l'esprit scientifique ISBN 2711611507
  • 1938: La psychanalyse du feu
  • 1940: La philosophie du non ISBN 2130525784
  • 1942: L'eau et les rêves ISBN 2253060992
  • 1943: L'air et les songes
  • 1946: La terre et les rêveries du repos ISBN 2714302998
  • 1948: La terre et les rêveries de la volonté
  • 1958: La poétique de l'espace English translation ISBN 0807064734
  • 1960: La poétique de la rêverie
  • 1961: La flamme d'une chandelle ISBN 2130539017


  • Cristina Chimisso, Gaston Bachelard: Critic of Science and the Imagination, Routledge 2001

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Gaston Bachelard