3ème mois de l’épistémologie historique – Novembre 2022

3rd Month of historical epistemology

November 9, 16, 24 & 30, 2022, 5pm-7pm (GMT+1)

Online workshop on Zoom : unive.zoom.us/j/89105695554

 

https://episthist.hypotheses.org/files/2022/10/3e-mois-épistémologie-historique-novembre-2022.png

Organizing Committee

Caroline Angleraux
Lucie Fabry
Ivan Moya Diez
Matteo Vagelli

Épistémologie Historique. Research Network
on the History and the Methods of Historical Epistemology

avec le soutien de 

IHPST (UMR 8590, Paris 1/CNRS)
LIR3S (UMR 7366, Université de Bourgogne / CNRS)
Universidad Alberto Hurtado
Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia
European Commission
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 101030646, “EPISTYLE”

Further information: epistemologiehistorique@gmail.com

 

NOVEMBER 9, 2002; 5pm-7pm (GMT +1) 

Massimiliano Badino (U. Verona), Gerardo Ienna (U. Verona), Pietro Daniel Omodeo (U. Ca’ Foscari) 

Presentation of Epistemologia storica. Correnti, temi, problemi (Carocci 2022)

Massimiliano Simons (Maastricht U.) 

From the Vienna Circle to Dialectica: Rougier, Cavaillès, Gonseth

 

NOVEMBER 16, 2002; 5pm-7pm (GMT +1)

Annagiulia Canesso (U. Padova)

Georges Canguilhem et la sociologie durkheimienne : normal et pathologique, entre vital et social

Maria Teresa Costa (MPIWG) 

Spaces of Visual Epistemology

 

NOVEMBER 24; 5pm-7pm (GMT +1)

Elisabetta Basso (U. Pavia) 

Presentation of Young Foucault: The Lille Manuscripts on Psychopathology, Phenomenology, and Anthropology, 1952–1955

Caroline Angleraux (IHPST) & Perceval Pillon (Paris 1)

At the margin of current science: characterising the desuetude of scientific objects

 

NOVEMBER 30; 5pm-7pm (GMT +1)

Pietro Terzi (U. Paris Nanterre) 

Léon Brunschvicg: An Unwitting Father of Historical Epistemology

Judith Bastie (U. Paris Cité) 

Mise en abyme : faire l’épistémologie du végétal dans l’épistémologie historique de Canguilhem, Foucault et Dagognet

 

 

 

 

 

ABSTRACTS

Judith Bastie – Mise en abyme: faire l’épistémologie du végétal dans l’épistémologie historique de Canguilhem, Foucault et Dagognet

 

Mon travail de thèse consiste en une archéologie du végétal. Il s’agit de dégager, dans la pensée occidentale du végétal, des épistémè ; de donner à voir des moments qui font rupture dans les discours de savoirs sur plantes. Là où la philosophie, et les sciences en général, se sont largement consacrées à l’humanité et son animalité, il y a comme un grand vide sur les questions de végétalité. Ces questions reviennent précisément en force aujourd’hui, associées à nos préoccupations environnementales, à l’écologie politique ou à l’urgence de limiter les effets du réchauffement climatique. Il s’agit de s’en saisir, en décalant un peu le regard : non pas l’environnement, catégorie somme tout très récente, mais les plantes. Non pas les philosophies de l’environnement, mais l’épistémologie historique. Ce travail de recherche, largement fondé sur l’archive, est néanmoins orienté vers le moment contemporain et entend s’actualiser, fidèle à l’archéologie foucaldienne. Il implique notamment une pratique de terrain, au sein d’un laboratoire du biologie végétale au Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle. Il s’engage aussi dans le renouvellement de ces épistémologies en y intégrant la question du genre, s’accrochant aux études américaines dites Gender and plant studies, visant à les intégrer au champ universitaire français.

Tout cela cependant, ce ne sera pas l’objet de ma communication. Il s’agit d’une présentation un peu générale de mon travail de thèse, le décor en fait. Je voudrais resserrer ici mon propos sur un morceau, et peut-être le plus conséquent, de ma thèse. Il s’agit d’un pari méthodologique, d’une mise en abyme : faire l’épistémologie du végétal dans l’épistémologie historique de Canguilhem, Foucault et Dagognet. Outre mon inscription dans cette école d’épistémologie historique française des années 1970, du point de vue du geste je veux dire, j’entends aller plus loin et en faire le terrain-même de mes recherches. Il ne s’agira pas seulement pour ces auteurs d’inspirer mes travaux sur les plantes, de constituer un socle théorique, mais davantage : d’être le terrain d’une archéologie du végétal. Fouiller à l’intérieur même de l’épistémologie historique, pour y trouver quelque chose des plantes. Si ce parti pris méthodologique doit présenter un intérêt, ça ne peut être seulement de restreindre un corpus, de proposer déjà un repérage dans toute l’histoire naturelle et la biologie de ce qui a été dit des plantes ; l’intérêt réside aussi dans ce que l’entrée « végétal » peut dire de l’épistémologie historique, et en elle, de la connaissance de la vie, voire de la vie-même. Canguilhem, Foucault et Dagognet ont tous en commun de s’être intéressés aux plantes. C’est resté subsidiaire en leurs œuvres, et pourtant, s’il fallait tirer un fil entre eux, ce pourrait être celui-ci : la place des plantes dans la connaissance de la vie. L’objet de ma communication est donc le suivant : discuter ce parti pris méthodologique, en dessiner les limites et en définir les modalités pratiques.

 

Annagiulia Canesso (U. Padova) – Georges Canguilhem et la sociologie durkheimienne : normal et pathologique entre vital et social

Les études consacrées à la pensée de Georges Canguilhem forment un chantier d’une grande actualité, qui s’inscrit non seulement dans le cadre de la redécouverte récente de son influence théorique sur toute une génération de penseurs en France dans la seconde moitié du XXe siècle, mais aussi dans l’appréciation de la portée pleinement philosophique de son apport épistémologique. Mes recherches actuelles, que je souhaiterais partager dans le cadre du précieux espace de discussion offert par le 3rd Month of Historical Epistemology, s’inscrivent dans ce contexte complexe et stratifié d’études canguilhemiennes, mais en l’articulant dans une direction plus nettement philosophico-politique. En général, je propose à cet égard de mener une enquête systématique sur le rapport entre Canguilhem et la tradition sociologique française, en partant du projet fondateur de Comte, et en passant par la sociologie de Durkheim, mais aussi de Mauss, Halbwachs et Friedmann. En effet, l’hypothèse de recherche que je voudrais proposer à l’occasion du débat parmi les membres du groupe EpistHist, est que l’œuvre de Canguilhem se constitue non seulement au sein de l’école composite de l’épistémologie française, mais aussi dans la tradition de la pensée sociologique en France, en héritant de sa conceptualité fondamentale, mais, en même temps, en la retravaillant profondément et de manière originale. Le résultat attendu de la recherche ainsi menée constituerait donc un double vecteur de problématisation. D’une part, de la position et de la contribution spécifiques que revêt Canguilhem au sein de la tradition sociologique française. D’autre part, de la torsion et de la remise en question spécifiques de la conceptualité propre aux sciences sociales qui découlent de ce même positionnement interne problématique. Je souhaiterais donc me concentrer plus particulièrement sur les notions spécifiques de « normal » et de « pathologique », dans la mesure où ces concepts sont constitués précisément au sein du discours sociologique, notamment à partir du cadre théorique comtien. De même, Durkheim – sur lequel je me propose d’insister au cours de mon exposé – articule la distinction entre faits sociaux normaux et pathologiques à partir de l’adoption du « principe de Broussais », qui devient essentiel au fondement même de la sociologie en tant que science, libérée de tout élément subjectiviste (voir É. Durkheim, Les règles de la méthode sociologique, 1895). Le normal et le pathologique deviennent donc délimitables, tant pour l’organisme vivant que pour la société, grâce à l’analyse statistique qui identifie l’état normal et la description du type moyen. Le but de ma présentation est de montrer comment, dans son célèbre travail sur le normal et le pathologique, Canguilhem a hérité de cette même conceptualité, tout en la soumettant à une torsion fondamentale.

Le moyen essentiel qui me permettra de soutenir ma proposition est l’analyse d’un texte inédit, conservé au CAPHÉS de l’ENS, qui réunit une série de conférences d’un cours pour l’agrégation de philosophie que Canguilhem donne en 1947, alors qu’il est maître de conférences à l’Université de Strasbourg. Le sujet des leçons est en effet un texte crucial de Durkheim, Les règles de la méthode sociologique (1895), ce qui fait de ce cours l’un des très rares endroits – le seul, par la longueur de la discussion et le caractère explicite de la référence – où Canguilhem se mesure ouvertement au discours sociologique durkheimien. Je me concentrerai notamment sur l’analyse critique que propose Canguilhem du chapitre consacré aux Règles sur la distinction entre le normal et le pathologique. L’examen de ces exposés fournira donc l’occasion de s’attarder sur les concepts de « normal » et de « pathologique », dans la mesure où ils sont utilisés non seulement dans le cadre de l’analyse philosophique du vivant, mais aussi de la dimension proprement sociale, et – parallèlement et globalement – de l’interrogation sur les rapports entre le vital et le social (et donc, encore, du savoir sociologique et du savoir biologique). Une telle perspective me permettra de montrer comment la position particulière de Canguilhem à l’égard du discours sociologique et de sa conceptualité spécifique est capable d’opérer une interrogation épistémologique des concepts du « social », en réarticulant différemment le plan de la sociologie et la définition de son objet propre.

 

Maria Teresa Costa – Spaces of Visual Epistemology

The history of art and the history of science have increasingly converged over the last decades creating a methodological affinity that is markedly evident in both the expansion of art history into a history of images (Bildwissenschaft and visual studies) and the growing interest of historians of science in visual sources and material artefacts. Putting into dialogue both disciplinary histories and related methodologies, the paper aims to unfold a new perspective through the analysis of spaces of visual epistemology, that is, of spaces in which knowledge arises through images in a broader sense, spaces such as laboratories, studios, museums, and exhibitions. Analyzing their interconnections, overlaps, and collisions beyond disciplinary boundaries, the paper aims to reflect on both the potential of thinking with images and on the epistemic significance of experimentation and process: as hybrids of materiality and imagination, these are all workshops of visual knowledge. Following their history and their architectural evolution, such places cannot be defined conclusively since their topography reflects transitions and paradigm shifts within art, science, and technology. This makes a deep analysis of both the network of agents and the institutions mediating these cultural exchanges necessary in order to also consider the objects themselves as being inseparable from the history of their media of transmission. Media and displays will therefore not simply be analyzed as tools for seeing, but as epistemic mechanisms that are essential for the transfer of knowledge and the widening of the disciplinary discourse of both art history and the history of science. An interesting example is in this sense the shift introduced by digital technologies (as infographic) in visualization processes, which has enhanced the epistemic potentialities of diagrams, models, and simulation strategies both in art and science.

 

Elisabetta Basso (Pavia) – Presentation of Young Foucault: The Lille Manuscripts on Psychopathology, Phenomenology, and Anthropology, 1952–1955

In the 1950s, long before his ascent to international renown, Michel Foucault published a scant few works. His early writings on psychology, psychopathology, and anthropology have been dismissed as immature. However, recently discovered manuscripts from the mid-1950s, when Foucault was a lecturer at the University of Lille, testify to the significance of the work that the philosopher produced in the years leading up to the “archaeological” project he launched with History of Madness. In my presentation, I will draw an analysis of the general epistemological “style” and methodology of Foucault’s philosophical project at the moment of its inception. It blurs the boundaries between biography and theoretical research in order to retrace the transformations, the difficulties and sometimes the contradictions that characterize the intellectual trajectory of a philosopher who, as Foucault himself put it, “turned to psychology, and from psychology to history.”

 

Massimiliano Simons (Maastricht) – From the Vienna Circle to Dialectica: Rougier, Cavaillès, Gonseth

Historical epistemology has a standard history of itself, tracing its roots back to Gaston Bachelard (or further back in time). It is typically read as an alternative way of doing philosophy and history of science, in contrast to Anglo-American approaches or logical positivism. In this article, I want to unearth some forgotten parts of the 20 th -century history of philosophy of science in France. First of all, I want to delve into the initial confrontation between French philosophy and logical positivism in the 1930s. Crucial figure in this confrontation was Louis Rougier, a now mostly forgotten figure, who played a crucial role in the reception of logical positivism in France, and Jean Cavaillès and Ferdinand Gonseth, who were among the first to respond to logical positivism, but whose role in the history of

historical epistemology remains unclear. This talk wants to explore three things. First, I want to argue that the alignment between Rougier and the Vienna Circle was political. Secondly, I want to explore how this confrontation with logical positivism provoked for some, but not all, French philosophers of science questions about their own national identity. Finally, I want to contest that this naturally led to ‘historical epistemology’ as we now know it. Instead I want to point at an alternative that was developing itself in France. In 1938, Gonseth gathered philosophers of science and logicians in Amersfoort to formulate an alternative to logical positivism. Both Bachelard and Cavaillès, among others, were present. Here they were looking for a common ground that could form the basis of a ‘French response’ to the Vienna Circle. However, this initiative was cut short due to the Second World War. Cavaillès died in the war, and logical positivists moved their attention to the United States. However, Gonseth continued his work in Zurich, organizing new conferences and launching the journal Dialectica with Bachelard and Paul Bernays. This alternative ‘Swiss’ way of doing historical epistemology, however, never became part of the French identity of historical epistemology, which rather shifted its focus on the legacy of Cavaillès and its responses to another upcoming philosophy: phenomenology.

 

Pietro Terzi. Léon Brunschvicg: An Unwitting Father of Historical Epistemology

Léon Brunschvicg (1869-1944) is often considered one of the noble fathers of historical epistemology in France. Indeed, his “scientific philosophy” was based on the close union between the evolution of philosophy and the advancement of science, reinterpreted from a historical and reflective perspective. However, Brunschvicg’s aim was not to determine the historical conditions of scientific knowledge, but to draw from the philosophical implications immanent to the evolution of science (most notably, mathematics and physics) diriment conclusions about the nature of mind and knowledge and the progress of civilization. His was in fact a “critical idealism” that saw through history the affirmation of a dynamic and law-making rationality over all forms of realist ontology, of concept as of perception. We shall see how, in Brunschvicg’s thought, elements drawn from the history of philosophy (Descartes, Spinoza, Kant, Fichte), spiritualism (Lachelier, Boutroux), ethnology and psychology (Lévy-Bruhl, Piaget), and French epistemology (Cournot, Comte, Poincaré) coalesce together.

 

Styles in the Arts and in the Sciences (online seminar)

Fall 2022-Winter 2023 – Online Seminar

Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia – Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage

European Commission – This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 101030646, “EPISTYLE”

Organizer: Matteo Vagelli (Ca’ Foscari/Harvard)


Link zoom: unive.zoom.us/j/87432697512

Further information: matteo.vagelli@unive.it

Website: unive.it/epistyle

 

OCTOBER 17, 2022

17.30h CET – 16.30h GMT – 11.30 GMT-5

Isabelle Kalinowski, ENS Paris

Gottfried Semper: Style and the Thickness of Time

 

OCTOBER 24, 2022

17.30h CET – 16.30h GMT – 11.30 GMT-5

Rémi Mermet, ENS Paris

Beyond Formalism: Heinrich Wölfflin’s Concept of Style

 

OCTOBER 31, 2022

17.30h CET – 16.30h GMT – 11.30 GMT-5

Andrea Pinotti, Università degli Studi di Milano

Style in Art and Style in perception: a Problematic Correlation

 

JANUARY 24, 2023

17.30h CET – 16.30h GMT – 11.30 GMT-5

Frédéric Fruteau de Laclos, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

Existentialisme de la connaissance et stylistique de l’idéation

 

FEBRUARY 6, 2023

17.30h CET – 16.30h GMT – 11.30 GMT-5

Mari Hvattum, Oslo School of Architecture and Design

Style and Solitude. The History of an Architectural Problem

 

FEBRUARY 13, 2023

17.30h CET – 16.30h GMT – 11.30 GMT-5

Eva Geulen, ZfL Berlin

Why Style Now?

Matteo Vagelli, PhD

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice/Harvard University) 

unive.it/epistyle

Arts and Sciences, Historicizing Boundaries. 7th International Workshop on Historical Epistemology (Ca’ Foscari, 9-10 June)

Arts and Sciences, Historicizing Boundaries
7th International Workshop on Historical Epistemology

Thursday 9- Friday 10 June

Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia (Aula Baratto – Dorsoduro 3246 – 30123 VE – Second floor)

*** REGISTER HERE***

Registration is mandatory

Zoom linkunive.zoom.us/j/6569494316

Further information: epistemologiehistorique@gmail.com

Thursday JUNE 9, 2022

10:30 Welcome & Introduction Marco Sgarbi, Ca’ Foscari

Chair Roberta Dreon, Ca’ Foscari

11:00 CAROLINE A. JONES, MIT
Polemics and epistemes: symbiontics in contemporary bio-arts

Chair Eleonora Montuschi, Ca’ Foscari

14:00 Francesco Nappo, Politecnico di Milano
How Maxwell discovered the Maxwell equations

14:40 Stefano Furlan, MPIWG Berlin/Université de Genève
The smile of mnemosyne: John Wheeler between history of science and arts

15:20 Ladislav Kvasz, Institute of philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague
On epistemological reconstruction of the development of the concept of space in geometry and in painting

16:20 PIETRO DANIEL OMODEO, Ca’ Foscari
Cultural politics of historical epistemology

17:20 PETER GALISON, Harvard University
Wastewilderness: nuclear lands

Friday JUNE 10, 2022

Chair Matteo Vagelli, Ca’ Foscari/Harvard University

9:30 Gwenda-lin Grewal, New School for Social Research
Fashion and academic divisiveness

10:10 Maria Teresa Costa, MPIWG Berlin
A transcultural history of art history from the 19th century and beyond. Art and science in a dialogue

11:20 Lucie Fabry, AMU/CGGG
Is there a science of interpretation? Sociology of art and epistemology of social sciences in the work of Jean-Claude Passeron

Chair Caroline Angleraux, Labex Who am I?/IHPST

14:00 Matteo Vagelli, Ca’ Foscari/Harvard University
Theories of “scientific styles” across the arts/sciences divide

14:40 Daniel Rodriguez-Navas, New School for Social Research
Art and science, method and style: the function of the concept of style in French historical epistemology

15:20 Rémi Mermet, Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
Between art and science: Ernst Cassirer’s concept of style

16:20 Agnese Ghezzi, IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca
The entangled histories of anthropology and photography, between art and science

17:00 ELENA CANADELLI, Università degli Studi di Padova
Art, science, and nature: museums as entangled spaces

This workshop is organized by:

Épistémologie Historique. Research Network on the History and the Methods of Historical Epistemology

With the support of

Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage;
European Commission (This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 101030646, “EPISTYLE”);
IHPST (UMR 8590, Paris 1/CNRS);
Centre Gilles Gaston Granger (UMR 7304);

Center for Renaissance and Early Modern Thought (CREMT).

Organizing committee

Matteo Vagelli (Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia/Harvard University);
Caroline Angleraux (Labex Who Am I?/IHPST);
Lucie Fabry (Aix Marseille Université, Centre Gilles-Gaston Granger);
Iván Moya-Diez (Universidad Alberto Hurtado);
Thomas Embleton (IHPST).

ABSTRACTS

Art, Science, and Nature: Museums as Entangled Spaces

Elena Canadelli, Università degli Studi di Padova

Natural history museums and science and technology museums are currently facing many challenges in terms of change of narratives and curatorial trends. Today, many Western scientific museums are wondering how to cope with their history and their historical collections, and how to rethink their identities and exhibitions, which are deeply rooted in the nineteenth-century ideas of science, nature, civilization, progress, production, and development–whether we like it or not. Exhibiting scientific objects traditionally means adopting a specific narrative and selection of artefacts not only in connection to scientific theories and ideas, but also to political or ideological agendas. This talk will show how complex and entangled are the narratives behind the public display of natural history and scientific artefacts in museums during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, selecting some European cases as relevant examples. Today, one of the ways in which scientific museums are changing their narratives is the introduction of contemporary art in their research projects and strategies of engaging different kinds of audiences. Thus, many contemporary artists are developing projects in collaboration with scientific museums worldwide, from the National Museum of Science and Technology Leonardo da Vinci in Milan to the Natural History Museum in Berlin. This presentation will explore this general topic, on the one hand addressing examples of recent collaborations between artists and scientific museums, and on the other hand focusing on some relevant moments of this collaboration in the history of this seminal Western institution.

A Transcultural History of Art History from the 19th Century and beyond. Art and Science in a Dialogue

Maria Teresa Costa, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Berlin)

As art history emerged as scientific discipline in the second half of the 19th century, first in the German speaking context and then in other countries, two opposite tendencies were developing. On one side the connoisseurship, approaching the work of art in its singularity and studying its material and technical aspects with an attributionist aim, and following an evolutionary idea of art history. On the other side, different approaches were unified by the analysis of the work of art within its broader cultural context, in reconstructing its social, cultural and political dimensions, in the dialogue with other disciplines. Both groups wanted to legitimate their methodologies on a “scientific” basis, the first grounded on the direct observation of the work of art, the latter developing a series of general concepts (Grundbegriffe), valid for interpreting works coming from different cultural contexts. This second tendency, born in German speaking countries as “Kunstwissenschaft”, and later translated in France as “science de l’art”, emerged in taking distance exactly from the direct study of techniques and material aspects, working on a more abstract level and aiming to pinpoint affinities and similarities between artifacts. Alois Riegl’s Kunstwollen, Heinrich Wölfflin’s Formgefühl, Aby Warburg’s Pathosformel and Henri Focillon’s Vie des formes are only a few examples. In this paper, I want to discuss this methodological gap between different approaches to art history in the epoch in which it was more intensively aiming to build its disciplinary identity, and to follow its development in the actual art historical practice.

Is there a science of interpretation? Sociology of art and epistemology of social sciences in the work of Jean-Claude Passeron

Lucie Fabry, Aix-Marseille Université/Centre Gilles Gaston Granger

In Sociological reasoning (1st ed. 1991), Jean-Claude Passeron brings together chapters on the epistemology of the social sciences and chapters on the sociology of art and culture. I will question the relationships between these two dimensions of his work, going beyond the observation that Passeron is a sociologist with an interest in the epistemology of his discipline. I will show that these two dimensions of his work have in common that they grant a central role to the notion of interpretation: Passeron claims, in his epistemological work, that the social sciences are interpretative sciences, and his sociology analyses the interpretations of works of art. By comparing what Passeron writes, as a sociologist, on aesthetic interpretations as social practices, and what he writes, as an epistemologist, on interpretations as scientific practices, I will question of the relation between art and science, but also between epistemology and sociology of science. I will wonder, in particular, whether Passeron defines demarcation criteria between scientific and non-scientific interpretations, and in what sense these scientific norms may differ from the social norms of interpretation.

The Smile of Mnemosyne: John Wheeler between History of Science and Arts

Stefano Furlan, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Berlin)

John A. Wheeler (1911-2008) is a leading figure of 20th-century physics, well-known even to a larger public for his evocative expressions such as “black hole” or “it from bit”. Much less-known – actually, almost entirely unexplored – is his active engagement with the arts and their history, as well as with the history of science. This paper intends to offer some insights on Wheeler’s related activities from the 1950s to the early 1960s. A first aspect concerns his reflections on a meta-level, viz. how he conceived his own physical researches within a historical dimension, what uses of the past he resorted to, which features had to be emphasized in the large historical projects he was starting to plan and organize (such as the famous “Sources for History of Quantum Physics”, then led by T. Kuhn, J.Heilbron and others). Interestingly enough, Wheeler was inspired by interviews that he happened to read in some art journals, where e.g. young writers were interviewing distinguished colleagues about their creative processes. Likewise, Wheeler intended to preserve the legacy of the founders of 20th-century physics not just by gathering documents or “factual” pieces of information, but having competent people interviewing them and trying to shed light on their heuristic strategies, inspirations, and so on. This methodological analogy clearly aimed at offering a different picture of physics and of its actors, a task particularly urgent after the recent appearance of an ambivalence towards its role in creating the terrifying weapons that appeared at the end of World War II. However, that was not simply a captivating move: in Wheeler’s mind it synergistically interacted with his very peculiar way (at least among recent physicists) of looking at the past. Far from considering history as obsolete material for dusty archives, Wheeler always tried to look for inspiration from past ideas or theories, either by analogy or by identifying some untapped potential still waiting to be disclosed. If, to outsiders, this may sound as a noble but impractical attitude in science, it is worth underlining that it was such an operation that led Wheeler to dust off first (early 1950s-early 1970s) Einstein’s legacy, and later Bohr’s. His renewed meditations on the work of his two great mentors did bear fruit: what nowadays appears as Wheeler’s most “futuristic” or “visionary” proposals, black holes and quantum information as a basis for everything, started as a fully aware, even methodological operation of polishing and disclosing the potentialities of past ideas. He had a similar attitude also when it came to pictures, that he largely employed both in his heuristics (as a visual thinker) and in the popularization of his researches. In this sense, he developed a quasi-Warburgian conception of pictures and of their powers, which saw him re-exhuming and re-functionalizing diagrams or illustrations from previous centuries. All these aspects can be seen in action, also thanks to the working notes that Wheeler dutifully kept for posterity and for future “historical epistemologists”, in the long, complex path that led him to become the godfather of black holes.

Wastewilderness: Nuclear Lands 

Peter Galison, Harvard University

As they are usually understood, the designations “nuclear wasteland” and “pure wilderness” are opposites poles.  When the two kinds of lands converge into nature reserves on the sites of decommissioned nuclear weapons lands, storage facilities, or accident sites, we often describe this circumstance as “paradoxical” or “ironic.”  Taking stock of plans to manage lands (and build monuments to warn the very distant future), I argue that the categories of wastelands and wilderness are far from antipodes; that their relation is more intriguing (and disturbing) than a binary of purity against corruption or civilization against chaos.  Indeed, the most radioactive site in the U.S. weapons complex is also, astonishingly, one of the most bio-diverse in North America, with similar developments across the world.  Removing parts of the earth in perpetuity —for reasons of sanctification or despoilment–alters a central feature of the human self, presenting us in a different relation to the physical world, and raising irreducible ethical questions about who we are when land can be classified, forever, as not for us humans.  Confronting such territories sets us where historical epistemology crosses with the ethics of how we cultivate our relation with the self, others, and the non-human, now and for the long term.

The entangled histories of anthropology and photography, between art and science

Agnese Ghezzi, IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca

The history of anthropology offers an interesting vantage point to analyse the connections as well as the demarcations between the “two cultures”. Looking at the institutionalisation of the anthropological discipline in Italy during the second half of the nineteenth century, the paper aims to analyse the different scholarly discourses around what anthropology should be. Such arguments moved primarily on the divide between a cultural and scientific orientation of the discipline’s object and methodology (Pogliano 1993, Stocking 1996).
The formation of anthropology happened in a phase of delineation of the natural and the human sciences and the new community of anthropologists  – made of “zoologists and travellers, paleethnologists and physicians, psychiatrists and physiologists, philologists and historians” (Mantegazza 1901) – entered into that crack and developed within it. While some scholars saw anthropology as a “natural history of man” and promoted the application of a rigid scientific method, others privileged the attention to historical, cultural, or psychological data. I will, therefore, analyse how the new community mediated between these two poles, looking at the intersection with other disciplines and especially at the contact with ideas of art and science.
Firmly rooted in medical knowledge, anthropology was moving on the line between what Ginzburg called an anatomical/naturalist model and a conjectural/semiotic model (Ginzburg 1980). On the one hand, anthropologists desired a highly disciplined representation of human varieties and tried to build a ‘human atlas’ where the biological features resulted isolated and comparable. On the other, they looked for a less staged and more lively description, not focused on bodily features but on attitudes, traditions and habits, with the attempt to build a system of “comparative psychology” (Mantegazza, Giglioli and Letourneau 1873).
I will particularly analyse the methods that were proposed in regards to observation and visualisation, that emerged as crucial practices to address (Daston and Lunbeck 2011, Edwards 2016). Photography was soon promoted as a fundamental ally in the classification of human groups and handbooks referenced to the correct employ of such visual technique (Puccini 1998). Next to the need for a “scientific photography” that follows the anthropometric standard – in line with the paradigm of ‘mechanical objectivity’ (Daston and Galison 1992, 2007) – there was the need for an “artistic photography” able to capture the attitude and the character of the portrayed subjects (Zannetti and Giglioli 1874).
Therefore, the paper crosses the 19th-century debate on the definition of photography as a technique at the intersection between art and science with the discourses around anthropology as a discipline in between the humanistic and the scientific domain. It will consider how fin-de-siecle Italian anthropology invoked both artistic and scientific concepts and it will explore if and how photography shaped and influenced the method of the discipline itself and, vice versa, how that branch of knowledge regulated and systematised the use of photography (Caraffa et al. 2019). Looking inward to how the tools made the discipline, this paper identifies the various discourses associated with photography, exploring the influence visual materials exerted on scientific theory.

Fashion and Academic Divisiveness

Gwen Grewal, The New School for Social Research

“Fashion” seems to be neither an art nor a science. At its most narrow, it might be argued to belong to the third culture of the “social sciences”; at its broadest, it might be cast as equivalent to the mode or style in which every art, science, or social science must participate by default. Yet the scorn fashion receives from the so-called arts and the indifference it receives from the so-called sciences suggest an interesting critique of their division.
In Anachronic Renaissance, Christopher Wood and Alexander Nagel have argued that the arrival of art history in the late medieval or early Renaissance period is simultaneous to the inclusion of fashion in art. During that period, a secular vision of art appears in which fashion is integral, for fashion seems to rear its head alongside a cultural awareness of time and in contrast to timeless iconography. Nagel and Wood’s view is one shared by fashion historians and philosophers alike. For example, in her recent book Social Appearances, Barbara Carnevali attributes fashion’s modernity to the expression of “individuality and originality” in clothing; while in Seeing Through Clothes, Anne Hollander distinguishes fashionable modernity from its fashionless past by the presence of “significant distortion and creative tailoring.”
I offer two points of criticism to these views: 1) Fashion is not modern. It may be as ancient as that old quarrel Plato speaks of in the Republic between philosophy and poetry—a quarrel that could easily be extended to the 20th century division between hard and soft intellectual modes. 2) Attributing any beginning to fashion is as impossible as positing a beginning for thinking. Yet the advantage to historicizing fashion may be summarized thus:  if there were to be a time before we wore time’s baggage on our persons—a time when our being in the world was stripped or at least unaware of its mode—we might be able to imagine a future in which epistemology could be, uncluttered by individual flair.
Fashion’s association with fluffy femininity is the specter of the perception of the “arts” in its most ill-starred form, and the widening gap between the arts and the sciences is traceable to that same longing to expiate ourselves of fashion’s influence. But, as Rousseau remarks in the First Discourse, the arts and sciences both amp up their specialized jargon to conceal ignorance; this enervates big questions in favor of small distinctions. The divisions in academia, ever finer, ever more querulous, display an “achievement” whose price is a removal from the indivisible world that inspired its inquiry. Within itself it becomes further removed from itself. Rousseau seems to have anticipated the lack of communication between literary intellectuals and scientists that C.P. Snow described. Travel between the two cultures becomes impossible, when the question of mode—of fashion—has been forgotten. The sidelining of fashion, understood both as a “lesser art” that deals with clothing and as way or manner, is not only a symptom of the division between the arts and sciences, but also an unsuspected route through which one might assess its current appearance.

Polemics and Epistemes:Symbiontics in Contemporary Bio-Arts

Caroline A. Jones, MIT

Can polemics shift epistemes? The artworld operates on this utopian premise. A century of symbiosis theory has quietly or explicitly challenged “Darwin’s bulldogs” and neo-Darwinism. Yet scientists working today on symbiosis in life systems still operate culturally within an episteme of Darwinian evolutionary theory and domestication metaphors: “harnessing” metabolisms by “cheaters” or “altruists,” the parasite and its host. Artists are crafting a frontal attack on the Darwinian episteme, informing an urgent polemic I dub “Symbiontics.”  This presentation will explore the collaborations between artists and science (if not scientists) that allow us to explore this portmanteau, which takes technical philosophy’s term “ontic” and adds it to symbiosis to support the claim that symbiosis is that-which-is. Indebted to the wordplay of biologists themselves (Ivan Wallin, Scott Gilbert) and cultural theorists (Beth Demster, Donna Haraway) “symbiontics” plies its craft literally in artworks that sprout mycelial blooms, plasmodium patterns, or HeLa cell patterns. The endosymbiotic and serial endosymbiosis theories of evolution that biologist Lynn Margulis put forward in the late ‘60s are now gaining impact in the shifting cultural frame of the contemporary art world. Their uptake by the visual arts will be discussed via a range of contemporary art works that attempt to sense the message of evolution: all creatures live on a microbial planet and do best when they proliferate genomic flexibility and welcome symbiotic partners. Survival favors the most interdependent.
As curator of the forthcoming exhibition Symbionts, I will argue that a new demographic of contemporary artists questions the “code dominance” of 2000.  Two decades into the new millennium, we might be able to resonate with the fact that our cells are cooperative amalgams of aerobic single-celled organisms merging into other archaeobacteria, that multicellular bodies carry around a swarm of bacteria that chemically modulate our moods, digest our food, and provide a constant stream of information to our immune system. Building on Margulis’s hunch that our sensory cells themselves derive from ancient partnerships formed with spirochetic bacteria, I ask after the (un)conscious wriggling chemical and electromagnetic sensitivities that give us our haptic, auditory, olfactory, and retinal access to the world — a strange universe of epistemic possibilities that entails using our equally strange tools of art (Noë) and entanglements (Barad) to open ourselves to the resonant frequencies of ancient collaborators within. I argue for a polemical shift in a dominant scientific episteme, following art toward a being-with our symbionts, calling upon viscera to confirm our interspecies dependence.

On Epistemological Reconstruction of the Development of the Concept of Space in Geometry and in Painting

Ladislav Kvasz, Institute of philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Prague)

In Ancient Greek mathematics we cannot find any systematic study of the concept of space. If we take Euclid, Archimedes or Apollonius, we see them study different geometrical objects, but never any study of space. It seems, that the notion of space entered mathematics after Renaissance from painting. After space was reified in geometry (i.e. turned into an object of study) by Desargues, an interesting and intricate development of the notion of space started. In my book Patterns of Change (Kvasz 2008, pp. 111 – 159) I proposed an epistemological reconstruction of the development of the notion of space in geometry using Wittgenstein´s picture theory of meaning.

The main idea of this approach is to apply Wittgenstein´s picture theory of meaning to pictures contained in groundbreaking text on geometry. It turns out, that the most natural way to reconstruct the development of geometric space from an epistemological point of view is to reconstruct it as the development of the pictorial form of the particular mathematical texts. According to Wittgenstein the pictorial form is the way how aspects of a (linguistic) representation are related to the world they represent. It is possible to discriminate several pictorial forms, i.e. different ways of how geometers organize the systems of lines, that constitute their pictures, into a geometric representation. It turns out, that the main breakthroughs in the development of geometry were accompanied with changes of the pictorial form.

Maybe even more interesting feature of the present approach is, that very similar innovations, than those used by Desargues, Lobachevski, Klein or Poincaré in geometry, were used by painters like Albrecht Dürer, Andrea Pozzo, Diego Velázquez, Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne or George Braque. In the paper I will introduce the concept of pictorial form of a representation, distinguish four different pictorial forms in the history of geometry and show paintings which use analogous pictorial forms.

This shows, that at least in the area of visual representation the boundaries between geometry and painting are blurred. The analysis indicates, that there is a fundamental level of understanding our spatial experience, that unites science with art.

References

Kvasz, Ladislav: Patterns of Change. Linguistic Innovations in the Development of Classical Mathematics. Birkhäuser, Basel 2008.

Between Art and Science: Ernst Cassirer’s Concept of Style

Remi Mermet, Centre d’histoire des philosophies modernes de la Sorbonne

In the Logic of the Cultural Sciences (1942), German philosopher and epistemologist Ernst Cassirer (1874-1945) used the concept of style (Stilbegriff) to legitimize the scientific nature of art history and, more generally, of the human sciences, but also to distinguish them (after Wilhelm Dilthey and Heinrich Rickert) from the natural sciences. According to him, style is indeed a formal or structural concept that prevents the Kunst- or Kulturwissenschaftler from falling into the triple pitfall of naturalism, historicism and psychologism, thus allowing them to develop a methodology that is irreducible to causality, i.e. to the methodology that is typical of the sciences of nature.

Yet, 20 years earlier, in “The Concept of Symbolic Form in the Construction of the Human Sciences” (1923), Cassirer had already borrowed Goethe’s concept of style to describe not the cultural sciences, but the natural sciences of his time, and more particularly Albert Einstein’s physics, which, he admitted, is not exclusively causal in nature, since it also uses formal or structural categories. In so doing, Cassirer did not seek to blur the differences between the sciences of nature and the sciences of culture. Rather, he tried to demonstrate that, if there indeed is a “science of art” (Kunstwissenschaft) that can produce some knowledge about artistic phenomena, there also exists what could be called an “art of science”, in that, as Goethe himself suggested, science as a whole is a symbolic process through which humanity shapes (and not simply imitates or explains a pre-given) reality.

This exemplarity of art for science raises the question of the very nature of the concept of style in Ernst Cassirer’s philosophy. Is it only meant to be an epistemological concept used to characterize a certain mode of scientific practice? Or is it meant to define, in a more profound way, symbolism as such? Drawing upon the Metaphysics of Symbolic Forms, I will show that for Cassirer, style is neither an “alter ego” of the symbolic form (Naumann), nor a conceptual tool limited to the analysis of artistic forms (Lauschke). It instead designates the specific manner in which the symbolic function of the human mind actually takes shape and diversifies throughout history. That is why Cassirer’s concept of style could be understood as a symbolism in action or in progress, i.e. as a historicized version of Goethe’s maxim, according to which “the particular is the general made manifest under different conditions.”

How Maxwell Discovered the Maxwell Equations

Francesco Nappo, Department of Mathematics, Politecnico di Milano

The official story – the one still taught in many university-level physics courses – of how J. C. Maxwell arrived at the Maxwell equations goes roughly as follows. Having collected the main experimental laws of the electromagnetic science of his time, namely Gauss’ law for electricity, Gauss’ law for magnetism, Faraday’s law for electrical induction, and Ampère’s law for electromagnetism, Maxwell noticed that they jointly violated the principle of conservation of charge. For this reason, and possibly motivated by a love for symmetries, he decided to add an additional term to the equations – the ‘displacement current’, understood as a rate of change of an electric field over time. By means of this bold postulation (which further experiments surprisingly confirmed), the principle of conservation of charge got restored.

As a matter of historical fact, things went very differently. In the first part of the presentation, I will sketch the main elements of Maxwell’s monumental scientific creation. It involved re-imagining electromagnetic forces in the mathematically more familiar terms of fluids flowing in tubes of variable section, exploiting analogies with hydrodynamics. Subsequently, Maxwell introduced an imaginary substratum of the electromagnetic forces consistent with the fluid model, exploiting an analogy with a mechanical system of molecular vortices. The introduction of the displacement current resulted from Maxwell’s insight that the system would need to be elastic in order to account for the phenomena of electrostatic charge and induction.

In the second part of the presentation, I will discuss some interesting similarities and differences of Maxwell’s scientific creation with artistic creation. Special attention will be paid to the description of Maxwell’s work as an exercise of a ‘constrained’ form of freedom. In this context, a connection will be drawn with the philosophical reflections of John Dewey and Benedetto Croce concerning the aesthetic aspects of scientific investigation and the thesis of the ‘primacy of the aesthetic’. The idea that the scientific investigator is, in the course of doing his or her research, aesthetically engaged sets the stage for a historically well-informed discussion of the aesthetics of science – the (severely underexplored) discipline concerned with the ‘intuitive’ and ‘non-conceptual’ elements inherent to the scientific practices of knowledge-production.

Cultural Politics of Historical Epistemology

Pietro Daniel Omodeo, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice

This communication addresses the political question of historical epistemology, at three levels. As I consider historical epistemology to be an inquiry into the genesis, validity and goals of knowledge (especially, scientific knowledge) and politics as the realm of collective agency, the political question  of historical epistemology especially concerns the collective character of the goals that inform science. First, the political question relates to the function of science at the level of ideas, that is, as ideology. In this respect, science can be understood as a historically given intellectual means to justify and guide collective decisions by acting at a psychological and, as it were, a spiritual level. Secondly, science as a force of transformation also acts as a material means of change of nature and of society. This second level is directly connected with the Baconian nexus of knowledge and domination, but re-read through praxeological lenses as a problem of objective change of environmental conditions. Thirdly, at the meta-level, historical epistemology as a specific path to knowledge theory reverses abstract conceptions of science and nature as they were both given in absolute terms. By contrast, it investigates the concrete conditions for the emergence, development and directness of all knowledge. In this sense, historical epistemology can be seen as the knowledge theory of historical materialism. It favours a critical but not skeptical attitude toward science and its potential. In this perspective, historical epistemology is a matter of cultural politics.

Art and Science, Method and Style: The Function of the Concept of Style in French Historical Epistemology

Daniel Rodriguez-Navas, The New School for Social Research

The goal of this presentation is to elucidate the relationship between two pairs of concepts: the concepts of method and style within French historical epistemology (FHE), and the concepts of scientific and of artistic style.

After an introductory discussion of the idea of FHE, understood, through the Wittgenstenian model of family resemblance, as a family of views about and ways of engaging in the history and philosophy of science, I will argue, in a first part of the presentation, that a concept ‘like’ the concept of style is ‘called for’ by the FHE approach to the history and philosophy of science. The starting point of the argument will be the observation that one of the typical traits of FHE is the idea that the history of science is irreducible to the chronology of discoveries within each scientific discipline (Canguilhem). For one of the tasks of the FHEpistemologist—with apologies for the barbaric abbreviation—is to identify patterns in the discourse and practices of scientists (in a capacious sense of the term that includes, as Canguilhem notes, those who grant themselves that honorific title without being quite entitled to it).

This irreducibility of the history of science to the chronology of scientific discovery, however, imposes an important restriction on how FHEpistemologists may go about identifying those patterns: they cannot rely on references to the scientific methods explicitly and self-consciously adopted by past scientists, as this would amount to adopting the latter’s perspectives, ensuring that the resulting history would be mere chronology. Hence the usefulness of a concept ‘like’ the concept of style for FHEpistemologists and the sense in which FHE ‘calls for’ such a concept. The notion of style enables FHEpistemologists to identify types of unity and coherence in scientific discourse and practices other than the unity conferred upon them by consciously adopted scientific methodologies. It enables them to see past scientific practice and discourse from a perspective other than that internal to the disciplines that constitute their object of enquiry. Borrowing Bachelard’s understating of the épistemologie as the psychoanalysis of the scientific mind, we might simply say that style is unconscious counterpart of conscious scientific method. More precisely, if less simply, we will say is that if the mark of scientific reason is that it consciously regulates itself through explicitly and self-consciously adopted and methodological principles, each ‘style of scientific thought’ (a variant of Hacking’s “styles of scientific reasoning”) is the concrete manifestation of the unconscious counterpart of scientific reason.

This insight, that the concept of scientific style is, within FHE, the functional analogue of the concept of method in alternative approaches to the history and philosophy of science, provides a useful entry-point for the second part of the presentation, the discussion of the relationship between the concepts of scientific and artistic style. I will argue that strictly speaking, the concept of method finds no application in the case of aesthetic production (while insisting that the concept of technique plays an analogous role), and offer the rudiments of an account of this difference between artistic and scientific production, and of the corresponding difference between the notions of scientific and artistic style, in terms of a difference between the teleological constraints that guide and govern scientific and artistic practice: while in the case of the sciences ‘the facts’ function as ‘hard external constraints’, the arts meet no such external constraints. Instead, they are ‘dialectically regulated’ by the aesthetic standards dominant within their respective cultural-historical settings, ‘soft’ standards which they aim to reconfigure and subvert without altogether forsaking.

Varieties of pluralism. Granger’s, Feyerabend’s and Hacking’s theories of scientific styles compared

Matteo Vagelli, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice / Harvard University

One of the “pluralisms” that proliferated in Anglophone philosophy of science during the second half of the twentieth century involves conceiving of the history of science as a history of “scientific styles”. A growing number of historians and philosophers of science have touted the concept of style as more flexible than method in conceiving of the historicity and plurality of the ways of thinking, discovering, and experimenting that constitute the sciences. Conflicting interpretations of “styles” in science mainly concern whether the term implies abandonment of the realism, objectivity, and progressiveness commonly understood to distinguish science from the arts. My aim is to give an overview of the different ways the concept of “scientific styles” has been understood in the history of philosophy of science. I will moreover try to show how some versions of this concept allows for a form of pluralism that avoids relativism.

In the first part of my talk, I will discuss how P.K. Feyerabend mobilized art historian Alois Riegl’s idea of self-standing cultural units (Kunstwollen, “will to art”) to show that different scientific theories, like different artistic styles, cannot be compared against a common background and are therefore “incommensurable”. From this perspective, expounded in Feyerabend’s Wissenschaft Als Kunst (1984), science is analogous to the arts in that neither shows objectivity or progress. I will then contrast Feyerabend’s view with the one put forward by Hacking, whose style-project, which spanned over 30 years, elaborates a notion of “styles of scientific reasoning” aiming to account for the objective and progressive nature of scientific knowledge and practice. By conceiving scientific styles as a relatively closed set of ways of finding out about the world and intervening in it, Hacking’s styles tend to accumulate-both reasoning strategies and ontological entities.

In the second part of my talk, I will analyse Gilles-Gaston Granger’s theory of scientific styles as developed in his Essai d’une philosophie du style (1968), a deeply original and yet scarcely studied epistemological analysis of style. Granger’s Essai, not available in English, has so far aroused interest only in French scholarship. In this work, Granger reworks the notion of style from the ground up, advancing an idea of “generalized stylistics” to theorize the dynamics mutually shaping objects and methods of production. Far from being merely ornamental, style for Granger becomes a category of formal thought through which one can reconsider the dialectics among theory and practice, abstraction, and individualization. I will highlight Granger’s Essai as an example of “comparative epistemology” that attempts to interrogate the boundaries of the natural, formal, human, and social sciences in terms of both objects and methods.

All three theories endorse a form of scientific pluralism. Yet whereas Feyerabend’s styles invite epistemic relativism and constructivism, Hacking’s and Granger’s theories show that style can support objectivity, realism, and progressiveness. Taking this comparative analysis as my point of departure, I will argue, against Feyerabend’s stylistic anarchism or epistemic “Dadaism”, that the historicity and plurality of scientific styles do not imply epistemic relativism.

Colloque: Claude Bernard. Histoire et philosophie d’une théorie physiologique (17-18 mai 2022)

Colloque : « Claude Bernard. Histoire et philosophie d’une théorie physiologique »
 

Lieu : Montréal, CIRST
Dates : mardi 17 & mercredi 18 mai 2022

Le colloque sera donné en format hybride

Le programme est disponible à l’URL suivant :

https://cirst2.openum.ca/files/sites/179/2022/04/Programme_ClaudeBernard.pdf

Prière de s’inscrire préalablement via :

https://uqam.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZItf–orjIoGNeZgRqbomkhYgLZRWhCWhiU

Local : Université du Québec à Montréal

Pavillon Thérèse-Casgrain (W)
455, Boulevard René-Lévesque Est

Montréal, Québec, H2L 4Y2

Département de philosophie,

5e étage Salle W-5215

Informations : cirst@uqam.ca

Colloquium « Claude Bernard. History and philosophy of a Physiological Theory »

Location : Montréal, CIRST
Dates : Tuesday 17th  & Wednesday 18th, May 2022

The colloquium will be held as a hybrid event

The program is available at the following url :

https://cirst2.openum.ca/files/sites/179/2022/04/Programme_ClaudeBernard.pdf

Please register beforehand at :

https://uqam.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZItf–orjIoGNeZgRqbomkhYgLZRWhCWhiU

Room : Université du Québec à Montréal

Pavillon Thérèse-Casgrain (W)
455, Boulevard René-Lévesque Est

Montréal, Québec, H2L 4Y2

Département de philosophie,

5th Floor, Room W-5215 
 

Informations : cirst@uqam.ca

Styles and Method in the Early-Modern and the Modern Period

Styles and Method in the Early-Modern and the Modern Period 
Spring 2022 – Online Seminar
 
Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia – Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage

European Commission – This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 101030646, “EPISTYLE”


Organizer: Matteo Vagelli (Ca’ Foscari/Harvard)
Further information: matteo.vagelli@unive.it
 
APRIL 11, 2022  
17.30h CET – 16.30h GMT – 11.30 GMT-5
Carlotta Santini, CNRS
Reading well, writing well, living well. Friedrich Nietzsche and the question of style
 

APRIL 26, 2022
17.30h CET – 16.30h GMT – 11.30 GMT-5
Raz Chen-Morris, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Fantasy, Scientific Thought and the End of Baroque Science

MAY 2, 2022
17.30h CET – 16.30h GMT – 11.30 GMT-5
Denis Kambouchner, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
Du style en philosophie, à partir de Descartes – entretien avec Denis Kambouchner

MAY 12, 2022
17.30h CET – 16.30h GMT – 11.30 GMT-5
Emilie Passignat, Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia
Manner: Connoisseurship and Taxonomy, Individual and Collective Identity
 

MAY 23, 2022
17.30h CET – 16.30h GMT – 11.30 GMT-5

Gianna Pomata, Johns Hopkins
The Unbearable Lightness of Thinking: Theory as “Capriccio” in 17th-Century Medicine
 
Matteo Vagelli, PhD
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice/Harvard University) 

Publication Bachelard Studies 2/2021 – Publication Etudes Bachelardiennes 2/2021 – Pubblicazione Studi Bachelardiani 2/2021

Chères Autrices,
Chers Auteurs,

Nous sommes heurex de partager avec vous la publication du Numèro 2/2021 «Gaston Bachelard, the “non-psychoanalyst”» – «Bachelard, le “non psychanalyste”» – «Bachelard, il “non psicanalista”» Sous la direction de: Ilona BLOCIAN et Marta PLES-BEBEN

Les auteurs des textes du nouveau volume de la revue Bachelard Studies – Études Bachelardiennes – Studi Bachelardiani explorent de nombreux aspects et contextes liés aux relations entre la pensée de Gaston Bachelard et la psychanalyse, tant pour la rationalité que pour la poétique. Parmi les problèmes soulevés, on retrouve le caractère
problématique et la fécondité des références de Bachelard à la psychanalyse (de Sigmund Freud à la psychologie analytique de Carl Gustav Jung) ; le thème de la pédagogie bachelardienne, qui entrecroise savoirs des sciences humaines et expériences personnelles d’enseignant, inconscient et rupture rationnelle ; la question de l’enfance dans La poétique de la rêverie et finalement  la place du bachelardisme par rapport aux écoles analytiques contemporaines. Les invitations au volume ont été acceptées par Marcel Renée Becerra Batán, Joël Clerget, Nicole Fabre, Nevio Del Longo, Kamila Morawska, Zoé
Pfister, Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, Christian Thiboutot et Anton Vydra. Leurs analyses perspicaces ont été complétées par des textes d’archives qui renforcent les questions soulevées, entre autres, par le contexte lié à la méthode du rêve éveillé dirigé de Robert Desoille, par la réflexion sur l’imaginaire de Juliette Favez-Boutonnier, ou par la psychanalyse bachelardienne du feu dans l’interprétation de Jean-Jacques Wunenburger qui y montre les tensions visibles dans l’attitude de Bachelard envers Freud. Les éditeurs du volume proposent enfin un état des lieux des recherches menées en Pologne, où le thème de la psychanalyse – en général et en tant qu’inspiration de Bachelard – est retrouvé et de plus en plus présent après des années de silence. Nous espérons que le volume trouvera des lectrices et des lecteurs qui voudront s’attarder avec nous
sur la (non)psychanalyse de Gaston Bachelard.

Ilona Blocian & Marta Ples-Beben

«Bachelard, le “non psychanalyste”»:
https://www.mimesisjournals.com/ojs/index.php/bachelardstudies/issue/view/112


Dear Friends,


We are pleased to share with you the publication of the Issue 2/2021 «Gaston Bachelard, the “non-psychoanalyst”» – «Bachelard, the “non-psychoanalyst”» – «Bachelard, il “non psicanalista”» Edited by: Ilona BLOCIAN and Marta PLES-BEBEN

The authors of the texts in the new volume of the journal Bachelard Studies – Études Bachelardiennes – Studi Bachelardiani explore many aspects and contexts related to the relationship between Gaston Bachelard’s thought and psychoanalysis, both for rationality and poetics. Among the issues raised are the problematic nature and fruitfulness of Bachelard’s references to psychoanalysis (from Sigmund Freud to Carl Gustav Jung’s analytical psychology); the theme of Bachelardian pedagogy, which intertwines knowledge from the humanities and personal experiences as a teacher, the unconscious, and the rational break; the question of childhood in The Poetics of Daydreaming; and finally, the place of Bachelardianism in relation to contemporary analytic schools. Invitations to the volume were accepted by Marcel Renée Becerra Batán, Joël Clerget, Nicole Fabre, Nevio Del Longo, Kamila Morawska, Zoé Pfister, Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, Christian Thiboutot and Anton Vydra. Their insightful analyses have been complemented by archival texts that
reinforce the questions raised, among others, by the context of Robert Desoille’s directed waking dream method, by Juliette Favez-Boutonnier’s reflection on the imaginary, or by Jean-Jacques Wunenburger’s Bachelardian psychoanalysis of fire in interpretation, in which he shows the tensions visible in Bachelard’s attitude towards Freud. Finally, the editors of the volume propose a survey of the research carried out in Poland, where the theme of psychoanalysis – in general and as an inspiration for Bachelard – is being rediscovered and increasingly present after years of silence. We hope that the volume will find readers who will want to dwell with us on Gaston Bachelard’s (non)psychoanalysis.

Ilona Blocian & Marta Ples-Beben

«Gaston Bachelard, the “non-psychoanalyst”»
https://www.mimesisjournals.com/ojs/index.php/bachelardstudies/issue/view/112


Care Amiche,
Cari Amici,


Siamo lieti di annunciare la pubblicazione del numero 2/2021 «Gaston Bachelard, the “non-psychoanalyst”» – «Bachelard, the “non-psychoanalyst”» – «Bachelard, il “non psicanalista”» Curato da: Ilona BLOCIAN e Marta PLES-BEBEN

Gli autori dei testi di questo numero di Bachelard Studies – Études Bachelardiennes – Studi Bachelardiani esplorano molti aspetti e contesti relativi al rapporto tra il pensiero di Gaston Bachelard e la psicoanalisi, sia nell’ambito epistemologico, sia in quello poetico. Tra le questioni sollevate vi sono la problematicità e la fecondità dei riferimenti di Bachelard alla psicoanalisi (da Sigmund Freud alla psicologia analitica di Carl Gustav Jung); il tema della pedagogia bachelardiana, che intreccia il sapere delle scienze umane e le esperienze personali di insegnante, l’inconscio e la rottura razionale; la questione dell’infanzia in La poetica del sogno ad occhi aperti; e infine il posto del bachelardianesimo in relazione alle scuole analitiche contemporanee. Gli inviti al volume sono stati accettati da Marcel Renée Becerra Batán, Joël Clerget, Nicole Fabre, Nevio Del Longo, Kamila Morawska, Zoé Pfister, Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, Christian Thiboutot e Anton Vydra. Le loro analisi perspicaci sono state completate da testi d’archivio che rafforzano le questioni sollevate, tra l’altro, dal
contesto del metodo del sogno di veglia diretto di Robert Desoille, dalla riflessione sull’immaginario di Juliette Favez-Boutonnier, o dalla psicoanalisi bachelardiana del fuoco nell’interpretazione di Jean-Jacques Wunenburger, in cui mostra le tensioni visibili nell’atteggiamento di Bachelard verso Freud. Infine, le curatrici del volume propongono una rassegna delle ricerche condotte in Polonia, dove il tema della psicoanalisi – in generale e come ispirazione per Bachelard – viene riscoperto e sempre più presente dopo anni di silenzio. Speriamo che il volume trovi lettori che vogliano soffermarsi con noi sulla (non)psicoanalisi di Gaston Bachelard.

Ilona Blocian & Marta Ples-Beben

«Bachelard, il “non psicanalista”»
https://www.mimesisjournals.com/ojs/index.php/bachelardstudies/issue/view/112


Les Directeurs, Editors, Direttori:

Jean-Jacques WUNENBURGER
Renato BOCCALI
Rédactrice en Chef, Editor in Chief, Capo Redattore:
Aurosa ALISON

CFP – Arts and Sciences, Historicizing Boundaries / 7th International Workshop on Historical Epistemology (Venice, 9-10 June 2022)

910 June 2022;

Confirmed keynote speakers:

Elena Canadelli (Padova)
Peter Galison (Harvard)
Caroline A. Jones (MIT)
Pietro Daniel Omodeo (Ca’ Foscari)

Abstract

The 7th International Workshop on Historical Epistemology is dedicated to exploring new ways of approaching the historical, conceptual, methodological, and technical relations between the arts and the sciences. Rather than looking for logical criteria for demarcating these domains, the workshop aims to question the arts/sciences dyad from the vantage point of its history.

Such a history should be at least twofold, unearthing both moments where science and art were perceived as different and kept separated and moments in which the two were considered kindred or unifiable. There is consensus among scholars (Collini, Introduction to C.P. Snow, The Two Cultures, 2012) that the divide emerged as an object of reflection during the 19th century—in the period characterized by the fading of Romanticism and the ascendance of the Industrial Revolution—with a controversy arising in several European countries regarding the definition of the respective goals and concerns of the arts and sciences. As the idea gained ground between the end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th that the arts corresponded to intervening, creative minds while the scientific persona was shaped by attempts to repress precisely these aspects (Daston & Galison, Objectivity, 2010), philosophers like Wilhelm Dilthey and Karl Popper proliferated attempts to conceptually refine the distinction between the two fields of inquiry and sets of activities. Science was entrusted with the values of objective, stable, and progressive knowledge and was clearly distinguished in this respect from what was non-scientific. The “two cultures” debate took center stage between the 1950s and the 1960s and came to epitomize polar oppositions: on the one hand, art was considered an activity that was individual and ‘soft’, relying on intuition and induction and involving visualization and mostly spontaneous processes. These traits were considered “feminine”. On the other hand, science was conceived as a “hard” collaborative endeavor that was analytical, deductive, logical and systematic: all “masculine” features. Science was not only conceived as a stable and progressive form of knowledge, it was also thought of as the gatekeeper of humankind and its hope for a peaceful future on earth—and placed in contrast with the elitist and decadent spirit of the artistic-literary tradition (Snow, The Two Cultures, 1998). As this debate raged over the following decades, it took distinctive turns. During the 1980s, one particular flaw of its central dichotomy emerged: the absence of the social sciences, which could be described as a sort of third “culture” positioned between literature and science (Lepenies, Die Drei Kulturen, 1985). The 1990s saw explicit attempts to break the “binary economy” opposing science and the arts and to replace it with discussion of their “boundary conditions”. Instead of the “vexed” question of whether “science and art are incommensurable realms of knowledge”, the problem was reframed in terms of recognition and study of “the conditions under which objects become visible in culture, and in what manner are such visibilities characterized as ‘science’ or ‘art’” (Galison & Jones, Picturing Science, Producing Art, 1998). Since at least the turn of the 21st century, pressure on boundary questions has decreased, and it might even seem that what were previously viewed as hard boundaries have been blurred to the point that the existence of two separate domains should be questioned. However, echoes of the earlier “culture clash” still circulate in current scholarly and everyday discussions. Furthermore, the “artistic” and “scientific” disciplines are still largely treated as separate at the institutional level, and collaboration between the two seems to be local and occasional at best. One of the leading questions animating our workshop is thus: do such questions make sense today and to what extent?

In other words, if the armchair philosopher recognizes demarcations among cognitive, perceptual, or operational domains, what can historical epistemology teach us about the boundary lines or relationship between the arts and the sciences? What might a historicized approach to the epistemological question of the different ways of accessing reality, of capturing or intervening in the world, add to our discussion? Can the distinction between scientific discovery and artistic creation be tackled from the point of view of historical epistemology? At the methodological level, can the history of the sciences fruitfully mesh with art history? Can art historians, historians of science, philosophers and cultural historians learn from each other’s methods? These transversal questions—cutting across the human, social, and natural sciences—have bearing on the “boundary questions” situated at the borders of the arts and sciences. While this workshop aims to move beyond the idea of a “binary economy,” it also aims to keep the specificity of each in sight. 

The history of philosophy of science can be of help here too. Although it does not appear at the forefront of French epistemology, the careful observer will notice that this topic was taken up by a number of historical epistemologists. Gaston Bachelard, for instance, identified an irremovable divide between epistemology and the poetic imagination but he also considered it possible for the latter to underpin or contribute to the former (Chimisso, Bachelard, Critic of Science and the Imagination, 2001). This aspect of Bachelard’s work could be put fruitfully in dialogue with later analogous attempts to make similar connections in the Anglophone domain (Holton, The Scientific Imagination, 1978). Bachelard moreover insisted on the creative dimension of scientific thinking and its technological inventiveness (Bachelard, The New Scientific Spirit), claiming that science can, to some extent, be regarded as an artistic creation belonging to both the human mind and the material world. Georges Canguilhem, on the one hand, maintained that knowledge and truth pertain only to science, which in this respect is “incommensurable” with other forms of cultural expression (e.g., the arts) underpinned and motivated by different values such as beauty. However, in his early writings, Canguilhem also reflected at length on the problem of artistic and technical creation and later came to consider medicine an “art”: a set of techniques situated at the crossroads of different scientific disciplines and aimed at the production of new norms of existence for organisms. Canguilhem’s work thus rested on a philosophy which appealed to a multiplicity of irreducible values and mobilized a Nietzschean perspective according to which the task of philosophy is to compare and contrast scientific, religious, ethical, and aesthetic values. In a similar vein, Michel Foucault suggested that the tools he deployed in his archeology of scientific knowledge could also be applied to art history (Foucault, The Archeology of Knowledge). His famous comment on Las Meninas in The Order of Things suggests that analysis of artistic productions is a means of investigating the structure of knowledge. Despite inheriting Bachelard’s divide between art and science, Gilles-Gaston Granger instead wondered whether the artistic notion of style could be applied to the analysis of scientific knowledge (Granger, Essai d’une philosophie du style). Finally, Jean-Claude Passeron’s work—premised upon the sociology of art and culture, on the one hand, and upon the epistemology of the social sciences on the other—raises questions about the extent to which these two origins of his work are completely separate or constantly in dialogue (Passeron, Sociological Reasoning).

These themes will be at the center of the 7th Workshop on Historical Epistemology. We hope the discussion will be a moment for philosophers, historians of philosophy, historians, philosophers of science, and art historians to encounter scholars with different methodological approaches. In particular, we expect contributions falling along the following three axes:

  1. Historical epistemology Can the arts/science dyad be an object of inquiry for historical epistemology? What are the larger epistemological and sociological goals that the dyad underpins or tries to respond to? Can we still talk of there being “two cultures”? Are there more than two? Or is there only one undifferentiated culture? To what extent is the term “culture” even appropriate? We welcome contributions tracing the trajectories of debates that have drawn the two poles of this dyad together or pushed them apart.
  2. Philosophy/methodology What can an historicized approach to epistemology teach us about the boundary lines or relationship between the arts and the sciences? What do the concepts of “style” and “method” have in common and what distinguishes them from each other? Contributions should propose ways of rethinking topics at the intersection of the two activities, such as representation, progress, perception, theory change, analogies, the role of “method”, the affordances of techniques and technologies, and differences between scientific invention/discovery and artistic creation.
  3. History of historical epistemology Bachelard, Canguilhem, Foucault or Granger are only examples: how have historical epistemologists writ large taken up this issue? Contributions might address thinkers coming from the French tradition or who employ the later historical epistemological approach that emerged from research groups at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science or from other strands of epistemology that reflected on the divide between the arts and the sciences.

Proposals (500 words plus a short presentation of the candidate) must be sent by March 15, 2022 (notification of acceptance or refusal by March 31), in .doc format, to epistemologiehistorique@gmail.com. The workshop will be conducted in English. Applicants should be ready for possible online participation in case the event should move to online-only.

This workshop is organized by:

Épistémologie Historique. Research Network on the History and the Methods of Historical Epistemology

With the support of:

  • Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage;
  • European Commission (This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 101030646, “EPISTYLE”);
  • IHPST (UMR 8590, Paris 1/CNRS);
  • République des Savoirs (USR 3608, ENS/ Collège de France/CNRS);
  • École doctorale Lettres, Arts, Sciences humaines et sociales (ED 540, ENS – EUR Translitteræ, PSL);
  • Centre Gilles Gaston Granger (UMR 7304).

Organizing committee:

Caroline Angleraux (Labex Who Am I?, Associate member of the IHPST)
Thomas Embleton (IHPST)
Lucie Fabry (ENS-PSL, République des savoirs / Aix Marseille Université, Centre Gilles- Gaston Granger)
Iván Moya-Diez (Universidad Alberto Hurtado)
Matteo Vagelli (Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia)

2ème Mois de l’Épistémologie Historique – Novembre 2021

2nd Month of Historical Epistemology

November 3, 10, 17, 24 / 2021
17h-19h (Paris time GMT+1)

Link Zoom: unive.zoom.us/j/6569494316

Organizing Committee

Caroline Angleraux
Lucie Fabry
Ivan Moya Diez
Matteo Vagelli

Épistémologie Historique. Research Network
on the History and the Methods of Historical Epistemology

avec le soutien de 

IHPST (UMR 8590, Paris 1/CNRS)
République des Savoirs (USR 3608, ENS/ Collège de France/CNRS)
École doctorale Lettres, Arts, Sciences humaines et sociales (ED 540, ENS – EUR Translitteræ, PSL)
Centre Gilles Gaston Granger (UMR 7304)
Universidad Alberto Hurtado
Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia

European Commission

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 101030646, “EPISTYLE”

PROGRAM
(PDF / abstracts below)

Wednesday, November 3, 17h-19h (GMT +1)

“Biology and Medecine”, Chair Matteo Vagelli

Samuel Talcott, University of the Sciences (Philadelphia)
“Methods and Events: François Delaporte on the 1832 Parisian Cholera and its Role in the Birth of Biosocieties”

Silvia De Cesare, Université de Genève
“L’idée de progrès entre organismes et artefacts techniques”

Wednesday, November 10, 17h-19h (GMT +1)

“Economics”, Chair Iván Moya-Diez

Emmanuel Picavet, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
“Introduction”

Sina Badiei & Matteo Vagelli, Lausanne / Ca’Foscari
“Étudier la pensée économique par le prisme de l’épistémologie historique”

Clémence Thébaut, Université de Limoges
“L’évaluation économique en santé au prisme de la typologie des épistémès de Foucault”

Wednesday, November 17, 17h-19h (GMT+1)

“Social sciences and ecology”, Chair Caroline Angleraux

Martín Bernales-Odino, Iván Moya-Diez, Mauricio Canals & Valentina Riberi, Universidad Alberto Hurtado
“The poor as a kind of people and epistemic objects. 1778-1854”

Andrea Angelini, Centre Cavaillès
“Canguilhem dans le Capitalocène. L’épistémologie historique à l’épreuve de l’écologie”

Wednesday, November 24, 17h-19h (GMT+1)

“History of epistemology”, Chair Lucie Fabry

Massimiliano Simons, Ghent University
“We Have Never Been Historical Epistemologists”

Gerardo Ienna, ERC EarlyModernCosmology
“Italian Science Wars: une controverse dans l’épistémologie historique italienne”

 

ABSTRACTS

 

Samuel Talcott, University of the Sciences (Philadelphia)
“Methods and Events: François Delaporte on the 1832 Parisian Cholera and its Role in the Birth of Biosocieties”

Despite differences between the 1832 Parisian cholera and the current SARS-COV-2 pandemic, despite its first publication nearly forty years ago, reading Delaporte’s history today helps illuminate and situate our moment. This paper argues that Delaporte’s study remains critical for thinking about health, sickness, and care in modern societies, in both its account of the events of the 1832 cholera and the methods it deploys to describe and make sense of them. First, he shows how modern public health was imbricated in class and colonial domination from its birth out of the Parisian cholera. But he also investigates how the epidemic contributed to important, albeit ambivalent, epistemological progress in medical science. I examine his methodology and argue that he had to critically appropriate and deploy various methods, drawing especially on Canguilhem’s histories of concepts and Foucaultian archeology and genealogy, in order to describe the complex transformations produced by the cholera. Understanding and responses to the current pandemic, I conclude, need to be informed by such a complex and layered epistemographical approach.

 

Silvia De Cesare, Université de Genève
“L’idée de progrès entre organismes et artefacts techniques”

L’idée de progrès, faisant référence à un changement vers le mieux, peut s’appliquer à l’histoire des êtres vivants (progrès organique) aussi bien qu’à l’histoire des artefacts techniques (progrès technique). L’idée de progrès organique – ayant de relations complexes avec la théorie de l’évolution – est souvent pensée en analogie avec l’idée de progrès technique. Mais comment définir exactement ces deux idées et comment rendre explicite l’analogie qui les relie ? Dans cette communication j’essaierai de répondre à cette question, en particulier en faisant référence à la pensée de Gilbert Simondon.

 

Emmanuel Picavet, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
“Introduction”

La philosophie contemporaine – y compris la philosophie des sciences – reconnaît l’influence durable (à ce jour) des grandes tendances philosophiques et scientifiques dans lesquelles la science empirique et la philosophie sont mêlées (cartésianisme, empirisme, conventionnalisme…). De plus, prêter attention à la complexité du développement des connaissances s’avère gratifiant lorsque nous essayons de comprendre les défis présents de la recherche philosophique.
Ces raisons (et d’autres) expliquent l’interaction de l’épistémologie historique et de la philosophie contemporaine. En partant d’exemples du domaine de la philosophie économique, on montrera que cette relation continue peut éclairer l’association acceptable de la rationalité et de la tradition dans le développement de théories scientifiques partagées par des sous-disciplines à l’intérieur et à l’extérieur de la philosophie.

Contemporary philosophy – incl. philosophy of science – acknowledges the lasting influence (to this day) of major philosophical/ scientific trends in which empirical science and philosophy are intermingled (cartesianism, empiricism, conventionalism…). Moreover, paying attention to the complexity of knowledge development proves rewarding when we try and understand the current challenges of philosophical research.
These reasons (and others) account for the interplay of historical epistemology and contemporary philosophy. Using examples from the field of economic philosophy, it will be argued that this continuing relationship may bring light onto the acceptable association of rationality and tradition in the development of scientific theories which are shared by subdisciplines within and without philosophy.

 

Sina Badiei & Matteo Vagelli, Lausanne / Ca’Foscari
“Étudier la pensée économique par le prisme de l’épistémologie historique”

Comment mettre en relief, au-delà des possibles malentendus, la fécondité du dialogue entre la pensée économique et ses critiques ? Notre hypothèse de départ est la suivante : étant donné qu’un certain nombre de débats contemporains dans la pensée économique s’enracinent dans des questionnements anciens, et étant entendu qu’un certain nombre de critiques adressées à la pensée économique mobilisent elles aussi des objections ancrées dans une histoire spécifique, ne pourrait-on pas mettre en relief la fécondité de ce dialogue en mobilisant une approche historique et épistémologique de la pensée économique ?

 

Clémence Thébaut, Université de Limoges
“L’évaluation économique en santé au prisme de la typologie des épistémès de Foucault”

Le travail présenté dans le cadre de ce séminaire s’inscrit dans le cadre d’un projet de recherche visant à mobiliser les méthodes et outils proposés par Michel Foucault pour apporter un éclairage sur un ensemble de discussions que soulève l’évaluation économique en santé. Nous nous intéressons ici à l’ancrage épistémologique des méthodes de révélation des préférences individuelles issues de l’économie du bien-être, qui sont aujourd’hui utilisées pour valoriser les bénéfices en santé, en nous appuyant sur la typologie des épistémès de Foucault dans les Mots et les choses. Plus précisément, nous envisageons que le rejet des comparaisons interpersonnelles, que préfigure la révolution marginaliste et la transition vers une mesure ordinale des utilités, s’explique par le passage d’une épistémè classique à une épistémè moderne. La question du caractère cardinal ou ordinal de la mesure de l’utilité reste centrale pour l’évaluation économique en santé. En effet, les méthodes d’évaluation des bénéfices en santé, notamment au moyen des QALY, se rapprochent d’une mesure cardinale, contrairement au paradigme de la nouvelle économie du bien-être dans lequel elle est censée s’inscrire.

 

Martín Bernales-Odino, Iván Moya-Diez, Mauricio Canals & Valentina Riberi, Universidad Alberto Hurtado
“The poor as a kind of people and epistemic objects. 1778-1854”

Our presentation explores the emergence of the poor as a kind of people. We do not assume that the category of poor is a mere description of reality (i.e., an object which already exists as something given) or a term that only exists in the common language (i.e., prior to its location in any scientific language). Instead, we investigate the moment when the millenary category of the poor transformed into an epistemic object during the establishment of a new Spanish American relief system. A salient aspect of such a new relief system consisted in changing the focus of the old doctrine of charity from the figure of the giver to the figure of the poor, in order to carefully differentiate the true and the false poor. Such an attempt not only allowed, but at times demanded the use of certain old and new epistemic techniques such as counting, observing, normalizing, and bureaucratizing. Our thesis argues that the deployment of such institutional techniques creates the poor as a specific kind of people and epistemic objects. These epistemic techniques, likely developed at the same time in different European states (ie. the visitor of the poor by Dégerando in France and Concepción Arenal in Spain), will facilitate the emergence of the poverty line elaborated around the works led by Charles Booth. If this is the case, then they would constitute an epistemic condition of our current problematization of poverty and the poor.

 

Andrea Angelini, Centre Cavaillès
“Canguilhem dans le Capitalocène. L’épistémologie historique à l’épreuve de l’écologie”

L’épistémologie historique a connu plusieurs applications dans différents domaines scientifiques : la physique-mathématique, la chimie, la biologie, la médecine, la technologie, les sciences sociales. Cette intervention se propose d’argumenter la pertinence de l’épistémologie historique de Georges Canguilhem pour interroger le débat contemporain (scientifique et politique) sur l’écologie. Bien que Canguilhem ait parfois émis des réserves sur certaines visées des premiers mouvements écologistes des années 1960-70, sa perspective théorique demeure néanmoins très féconde pour élaborer une « épistémologie politique de l’écologie ». Même si Canguilhem partageait l’urgence d’aborder la question écologique, il rejetait pourtant toute solution exclusivement scientifique ou technocratique : les défis environnementaux (pollution, biodiversité, limite des ressources, contraintes de la reproduction sociale) engagent à la fois une réflexion philosophique et un questionnement politique. Les recherches de Canguilhem se révèlent encore aujourd’hui d’une grande actualité par rapport aux interrogations posées par la crise écologique : la « philosophie biologique de la technique » et son lien avec une « philosophie politique de la technologie » ; la formulation d’une « théorie générale du milieu » et la réflexion sur la pluralité des formes éthologiques de relation à l’environnement ; l’enchevêtrement (sans coïncidence) entre le social et le vital, voire le rapport entre formes d’organisations sociales et contraintes bio-environnementales ; la question de la spécificité des sciences biologiques et de leurs implications politiques ; le problème des conditions de validité du discours scientifique, des transferts conceptuels entre différents domaines disciplinaires et de leurs effets idéologiques ; et encore, l’étude de l’histoire et des transformations du concept de régulation et de ses applications dans les technologies gouvernementales. Ces thèmes présentent nombre de points en commun avec les débats des dernières décennies qui ont touché les sciences environnementales et l’écologie politique, notamment ceux autour de l’Anthropocène et du Capitalocène. On verra alors de quelle manière l’approche à la fois épistémologique et politique de Canguilhem nous donne plusieurs instruments conceptuels face à la crise écologique et peut contribuer à une compréhension critique de notre actualité.

 

Massimiliano Simons, Ghent University
“We Have Never Been Historical Epistemologists”

Historical epistemology has seemingly gained momentum in the last few decades. This has led some to argue that historical epistemology is finally getting the international attention it deserves, exemplified by the work of, among other, Ian Hacking, Lorraine Daston and Hans-Jörg Rheinberger. However, I want to problematize this type of history of historical epistemology, that stresses historical epistemology as a continuous and well-defined project that slowly gains recognition. I want to contest this, not merely for historical reasons (‘to get the facts right’), but also because the historical narrative one tells about one’s own field matters of how one defines the field and its objectives. Instead, therefore, I want to provoke the possibility of another genealogy of historical epistemology, centered around three claims: (1) historical epistemology is a relic: not the discovery of something new, but a remnant of something old; (2) historical epistemology is weird: not just something we should cherish, but also problematize and question certain aspects of; and (3) historical epistemology is not just history of science, but has had and could have alternative ambitions, reaching well beyond philosophy and history of science.

 

Gerardo Ienna, ERC EarlyModernCosmology
“Italian Science Wars: une controverse dans l’épistémologie historique italienne”

L’objectif de cette intervention est de reconstruire le débat sur la non-neutralité de la science que l’on a appelé les “Italian Science Wars”. Par ce nom, j’entends un affrontement épistémologique et politique entre les positions de Ludovico Geymonat (et son école milanaise), les positions du philosophe et historien des sciences Paolo Rossi (et son école) contre un groupe large et varié de scientifiques et de militants d’extrême gauche. Ces trois positions intellectuelles se fondent sur une affirmation convaincue de l’inséparabilité de l’histoire et de l’épistémologie mais sont marquées par des orientations politiques différentes. Pour cette raison, elles représentent une partie essentielle du canon largement inexploré de l’épistémologie historique italienne.
Le conflit et le débat sur la neutralité/non-neutralité entre Geymonat, Rossi et les scientifiques militants ont été développés dans les journaux, les magazines à large diffusion, les lieux de conférences universitaires et dans certaines revues telles que : Sapere, Textes et Contextes, Médecine démocratique, etc. 
Ce débat a été animé par des scientifiques/militants tels que : Marcello Cini, Giovanni Jona-Laisino, Giovanni Ciccotti et Michelangelo DeMaria Angelo Baracca, Arcangelo Rossi, Tito Tonietti, Franco Selleri, Silvio Bergia, Elisabetta Donnini, Giulio Maccacaro, etc. L’ape e l’architetto [traduit en français comme L’araignée et le tisserand] -publié par le groupe de physiciens de Rome composé de Cini, Jona-Laisino, Ciccotti et DeMaria- est largement considéré comme le manifeste italien de ce mouvement.  La thèse principale de ce livre est d’intégrer la théorie marxiste du matérialisme historique avec la thèse de Thomas Kuhn sur la structure des révolutions scientifiques. L’objectif des auteurs était en fait de libérer la réflexion sur la science de l’influence épistémologique du matérialisme dialectique engelsien qui pose une séparation nette entre nature et histoire. L’analyse de ce débat nous permet d’élargir le débat contemporain en épistémologie historique sur au moins deux fronts : 1) la construction d’un canon de l’épistémologie historique italienne et 2) l’exploration des positions controversées en épistémologie historique sur le thème neutralité/non-neutralité de la science.
 

(parution) La biologie au défi de l’histoire. Mélanges offerts à Michel Morange

Sous la direction de Laurent Loison & Thomas Pradeu 

Collection: Histoire des sciences et des techniques

 

 

Depuis trois décennies au moins, Michel Morange a été et demeure un acteur essentiel dans le champ de l’histoire et de la philosophie des sciences de la vie. Ses ouvrages, ses articles, et son activité académique ont laissé une marque durable, non seulement en France, mais dans l’ensemble de la communauté internationale. Au moment de son départ à la retraite, d’anciens élèves, amis et collègues ont souhaité lui rendre hommage en organisant des journées en son honneur à la Sorbonne (Paris 1) en février 2020.

Les textes issus de ces journées abordent le versant historique et philosophique de son œuvre selon des perspectives diverses, en fonction de la manière dont Michel Morange a été important pour tel ou tel contributeur. Beaucoup soulignent à quel point le souci de l’histoire et celui de rationalité ont été des aspects centraux de ses réflexions. Au fil de onze chapitres, organisés en trois parties («Parcours», «Style et engagement théorique», «Prolongements et inspirations»), ce livre dessine la façon dont Michel Morange, homme de laboratoire formé à l’enzymologie, a posé à la biologie la plus contemporaine la question de son histoire et de ses engagements conceptuels et philosophiques.

 

Special Section: Thinking Crossroads: From Scientific Pluralism to Pluralist History of Science

We are very glad to announce the release of a new special section of the Journal for General Philosophy of Science (52/1, March 2021). 


The special section aims to emphasize the pivotal role of the history of science for pluralism. Instead of reverting to abstract speculation about an idealized conception of science and of scientific knowledge, the papers presented here draw decisive insights from the ways in which science was actually conducted. These insights open up new ways not only of seeing the past of these sciences but also, and more fundamentally, of shaping present and future science. 


The special section is edited by Matteo Vagelli, Laurent Loison and Ivan Moya-Diez. 
 
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
 
[Special section]

Thinking Crossroads: From Scientific Pluralism to Pluralist History of Science
 
Matteo Vagelli, Laurent Loison & Ivan Moya-Diez
Introduction

Hasok Chang
Presentist History for Pluralist History of Science

Thierry Hoquet
Pluralizing Darwin: Making Counter-Factual History of Science Significant

Thomas Bonnin
Monist and Pluralist Approaches on Underdetermination: A Case Study in Evolutionary Microbiology
 
This is the web page of the issue

Ian Hacking and the Historical Reason of the Sciences

Dear all, 

We are very glad to announce the release of a new issue of Philosophical Inquiries (IX, 1-2021). The issue features a Focus section discussing Ian Hacking’s philosophy,  his arguments on the combination between history and philosophy of science, on experimental realism, on scientific stability and on the disunity of the sciences. The Focus section is edited by Matteo Vagelli and Marica Setaro. The issue also presents Gaston Bachelard’s introduction to his Le rationalisme appliqué translated into English for the first time. 
 
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
 
[Focus section]
 
Ian Hacking and the Historical Reason of the Sciences
 

Matteo Vagelli and Marica Setaro
Introduction

David Hyder
Naturalism, Pragmatism and Historical Epistemology

Manolis Simos and Theodore Arabatzis
Ian Hacking’s metahistory of science

Massimiliano Simons and Matteo Vagelli
Were experiments ever neglected? Ian Hacking and the history of philosophy of experiment 

Jacqueline Sullivan
Understanding stability in cognitive neuroscience through Hacking’s lens

[Past Present]

Lucie Fabry
Le rationalisme appliqué. A dialogical philosophy: Bachelard’s “Introduction” to Le Rationalisme appliqué 

Gaston Bachelard
The dialogical philosophy. La philosophie dialoguée
 
This is the web page of the issue: https://www.philinq.it/philinq

Reseña: L’épistémologie historique. Histoire et méthodes, de Jean-François Braunstein, Iván Moya Diez y Matteo Vagelli (Dir.)

Marcela Renée Becerra Batán (Universidad Nacional de San Luis, Facultad de Ciencias Humanas)

Resumen

Reseña: L’épistémologie historique. Histoire et méthodes,  de Jean-François Braunstein, Iván Moya Diez y Matteo Vagelli (Dir.)

Braunstein, Jean-François ; Moya Diez, Iván y Vagelli, Matteo (Dir.) (2019)L’épistémologie historique. Histoire et méthodes. Paris, Éditions de la Sorbonne, 270 páginas.

Biografía del autor/a

Marcela Renée Becerra Batán, Universidad Nacional de San Luis, Facultad de Ciencias Humanas

Doctora en Filosofìa (UNC, 2010). 

Docente-investigadora de la Facultad de Ciencias Humanas (FCH), Universidad Nacional de San Luis (UNSL).

Profesora Titular Exclusiva Interina de “Epistemología de las Ciencias Sociales”, Departamento de Educación, FCH, UNSL. Con extensión de tareas docentes a otros cursos de Espistemología.

Categoría de Investigación: 2 (dos) en “Filosofía.

Directora del Proyecto de Investigacion Consolidado: “Epistemología, Psicoanálisis y Ciencias Humanas. Normalización, Clasificación y Subjetividad II”, SeCyT, FCH, UNSL.

Docente de posgrado en la UNSL y la UNRC, en cursos de Epistemología para doctorandos y maestrandos de distintas carreras.

Directora de tesis de posgrado y grado.

Mois de l’épistémologie historique – Novembre 2020

6èmes Journées d’études sur l’Épistémologie Historique
Épistémologie historique et épistémologie de l’histoire

4, 12, 18, 25 Novembre 2020
17h-19h (Paris time)

Plateforme Zoom

 *** INSCRIPTIONS ***

 

Les journées d’études sont organisées par

Épistémologie Historique. Research Network on the History and the Methods of Historical Epistemology

avec le soutien de 

École doctorale de Philosophie – ED 280 (Paris 1)
IHPST (UMR 8590, Paris 1/CNRS)
PhiCO/ISJPS (UMR 8103, Paris 1)

République des Savoirs (USR 3608, ENS/ Collège de France/CNRS)
École doctorale Lettres, Arts, Sciences humaines et sociales –
ED 540 (ENS) – EUR Translitteræ (PSL)

Maison d’Auguste Comte

PDF PROGRAMME ET RÉSUMES

PROGRAMME

Mercredi 4 Novembre                  17h-19h (Paris time)

Paul Roth (University of California, Santa Cruz), Hacking’s Historiography?

Matteo Vagelli (Université Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne), Does historical epistemology need a theory of history?

Lucie Fabry (École normale supérieure & Centre Marc Bloch), Epistemologies of history with a Bachelardian background: Granger, Althusser and Foucault.

Jeudi 12 Novembre                       17h-19h (Paris time)

Stefanos Geroulanos (New York University), Concepts, Metaphors, and Historical Epistemology.

Annagiulia Canesso (Università degli Studi di Padova, Istituto Italiano per gli Studi Filosofici di Napoli), L’histoire errante de la vérité entre Gaston Bachelard et Georges Canguilhem.

Alberto Vianelli (Università degli Studi dell’Insubria), Marc Bloch, un historien entre métier et démarche scientifique.

Mercredi 18 Novembre                17h-19h (Paris time)

Perrine Simon-Nahum (CNRS, École normale supérieure), Le jeune Aron : de la biologie à la philosophie de l’histoire.

Massimiliano Simons (Ghent University), History as engagement: The Historical Epistemology of Raymond Aron.

Iván Moya Diez (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne), De l’universalité à la contingence des valeurs. La problématisation du jugement historique chez Canguilhem.

Mercredi 25 Novembre                17h-19h (Paris time)

Sophie Roux (École normale supérieure), La question de l’historicité des sciences chez les bachelardiens.

Silvia De Cesare (Université de Genève), L’idée de « progrès » entre histoire des sciences et histoire de la vie : analyse d’une analogie proposée par Thomas Kuhn.

Masahito Hirai (University of Tokyo), Le principe des conditions d’existence et son application en sociologie comtienne.

 

Comité d’organisation

Matteo Vagelli
Ivan Moya Diez
Lucie Fabry
Caroline Angleraux
Marcos Camolezi
Victor Lefèvre

Comité Scientifique

Christian Bonnet, CHSPM Paris 1
Jean-François Braunstein, PhiCo Paris 1
Hasok Chang, Cambridge University
Cristina Chimisso, Open University, UK
Arnold I. Davidson, Université de Chicago
Moritz Epple, Université de Francfort
Pierre Wagner, IHPST Paris 1

CFP – HPLS Journal: Normativity and the Life Sciences

Call for papers: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences. 2021 Special Issue.

Topic of the Special Issue: “Normativity and the Life Sciences: Analytical and Continental Perspectives”

Guest editors: 

Luca Corti
Ivan Moya Diez
Matteo Vagelli

We are inviting submissions for a Special Issue of History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences. This special issue will be devoted to the topic of ‘Normativity and the Life Sciences: Analytical and Continental Perspective’. Below you can find the rationale of the Issue. 

Submission instructions:

All submissions, as well as inquiries about submissions to the special  issue, should be sent by e-mail to the guest editors: hpls2021specialissue@gmail.com

Submissions must not be submitted to or be under review at other journals, books, etc.

Submissions should not be longer than 9000 words, they should be sent as .doc files and they should include an abstract of 150 to 250 words. The abstract should not contain any undefined abbreviations or unspecified references.

Submissions should be prepared for blind review: All identifying information about the author(s) such as names or institutional affiliations, have to be removed. Self-citations have to be anonymized.

Submission deadline:  October 15th, 2020 

RATIONALE OF THE SPECIAL ISSUE:

In recent years, normativity and the status of norms have been at the center of several key debates in both the Continental and analytical traditions.. The question of normativity encompasses contentious issues touching various areas, including philosophy of biology, philosophy of mind and cognition, as well as metaethics. The development of disciplines tied to evolution (such as evolutionary biology, evolutionary psychology, etc.) as well as to the organisation of living beings (such as system biology) has driven a new interest and led to the introduction of crucial new perspectives into the philosophical conversation on norms.

Within this framework, the relation between norms and the phenomenon of life has become central: various thinkers coming from different philosophical traditions have analysed the problem of normativity from the premise that norms originate within life or the living organism and are tied to functions, or located norms in an evolutionary framework. Arguments from the life sciences have powerfully entered the debate not only in philosophy of medicine but also in metaethics..

We intend this special issue to open space for dialogue between philosophers and historians of science with different methodological approaches to normativity and its relation to the life sciences. By putting Continental, historical, and analytical approaches to vital normativity in conversation, the special issue aims to provide a synoptic view that sheds new light on individual topics, such as the origins and status of normativity in life or the strategies for naturalising norms offered by the theoretical framework of the life sciences. This dialogue will mobilize the work of Canguilhem, and, through him, the approach fostered by historical epistemology. It will engage analogous questions emerging from a classical German context. Literature on classical German philosophy and the problem of living normativity is abundant and scholarship on Canguilhem biology and vitalism is growing steadily, but no relevant connection between them has yet been drawn. This special issue will bring these two strands together and connect them with contemporary Anglo-American debates on the naturalisation of norms.

Topics for submitted papers might include, but are not limited to:

  • Normativity and explanation in the life sciences
  • Forms and accounts of biological normativity 
  • The notion of “function”: philosophical and historical perspectives
  • Norms and evolution
  • Historical reflection on normativity, life and cognition (in areas such as French Epistemology, Classical German Philosophy, etc.)
  • Vital normativity and the epistemology of the life sciences
  • Teleology and its normative import: philosophical and historical aspects
  • The relation between social and vital norms

Invited contributors:

Michael Ruse (Florida State University)
Dennis Walsh (Toronto)
Monica Greco (Goldsmith, University of London)
Silvia De Cesare (Université de Genève)

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