Bachelard’s Philosophy


Bachelard’s Philosophy: Science and Poetics

The French philosopher Gaston Bachelard has worked on two main themes: the philosophy of science and imagination. In the first area, here are his notable works:

– Poetics of Space

– Earth and Reveries of Will: An Essay on the Imagination of Matter

Bachelard has conducted an analysis of the conditions of scientific knowledge, the difficult conquest against the spirit itself and the obstacles that are inherent.

Bachelard’s Scientific philosophy of mind:

According to Bachelard, knowledge does not progress continuously. He knows methodological breaks, changes in methods and concepts within a science – epistemological cuts (American Kuhn will take over this thesis, showing the relativity of scientific knowledge and the notion of truth in general ).

Thus we can highlight three periods according to Bachelard:

– The pre-scientific age: up until the 18th century

– The scientific age: the 18th to early 20th century

– The era of new scientific spirit: from 1905, ie in relation to the theory of relativity of Einstein, characterized by its increasing abstraction and sense of complexity.

Each time, between periods, occurs an epistemological break. How can we break with the current state of knowledge? Thanks to the epistemological obstacles, barriers inherent to knowledge itself. And immediate spontaneity and the data they are unconscious so many obstacles that we must decipher and psychoanalyze. A psychoanalysis of the scientific spirit is necessary screening values ​​listed in the unconscious knowledge.

The consequence for the whole of philosophy is a major reason is no longer seen as absolute, but relative, like a plastic activity to distinguish right from wrong, simply, not as the source of universal truth and eternal.

Bachelard and imagination:

Imagine, this is not collected. Rather, these are two opposing activities. Imagine, it put the real distance away. To perceive is to be real close, absorbing the world.

So we must distinguish two types of imagination: the creative imagination and fantasy reproductive. The first refers to the ability to distort the images provided by perception, so as to exceed to the imagination that transcends any given reality.


Cite this article as: Tim, "Bachelard’s Philosophy, April 5, 2012, " in Philosophy & Philosophers, April 5, 2012,

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