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)

Journées Latino-Américaines d’Épistémologie Historique

 
PROGRAMA:

16/07- Epistemologia histórica e história das ciências humanas
Marcela Renée Becerra Bátan (UNSL, Argentina), María Laura Martínez (UDELAR, Uruguai), Maurício de Carvalho Ramos (USP)

23/07 – Historiografia das Ciências
Marlon Salomon (UFG), Mauro Condé (UFMG), Francismary Alves da Silva (UFSB)

30/07 – História e epistemologia da Geografia
Larissa Lira (UFMG), Wolf-Dietrich Sahr (UFPR), Patrícia Aranha (USP)

06/08 – História e epistemologia da Psicologia
Iván Moya Diez (Université Paris 1, França), Marcio Luiz Miotto (UFF) Marcos Camolezi (Núcleo de Estudos Bergsonianos – NEB/UNIFESP),

13/08 – Ciências Humanas e Artes
Camila Gui Rosatti (USP), Paulo Knauss (UFF), Pedro Caldas (Unirio)

20/08 – Medicina e humanidades
Sandra Caponi (UFSC), José Ricardo de C. M. Ayres (USP), Kleverton Bacelar (UFBA)

27/08- Arquivos e big data

João Ohara (UFRJ), Miguel Palmeira (USP), Thiago Nicodemo (Unicamp)

03/09 – História do método

Fábio Ferreira de Almeida (UFG), Itamar Freitas de Oliveira (UFS), Tiago Santos Almeida (UFG),

10/09 – História da Historiografia

Felipe Brandi (EHESS), Rodrigo Turin (Unirio), Temístocles Cezar (UFRGS)

17/09- Para além do pensamento moderno
Federico Navarrete Linares (UNAM, México), Francine Iegelski (UFF), Marcos Lanna (UFSCar)
 
 

Disease and Civilization. The Cholera in Paris, 1832 (François Delaporte)

Summary

Disease and Civilization explores the scientific and political ramifications of the great cholera epidemic of 1832, showing how its course and its conceptualization were affected by the social power relations of the time. The epidemic which claimed the lives of 18,000 people in Paris alone, was a watershed in the history of medicine: In France, it shook the complacency of a medical establishment that thought it had the means to prevent any onslaught and led to a revolution in the concept of public health.

Endorsement

Delaporte’s learned and exhaustive readings of the medical texts brim with subtle observations and new insights, and his treatment of the cultural and political implications of medical thinking should prove useful to all European historians of this period. In Delaporte’s capable hands, Foucault’s methods come very close to fulfilling their considerable potential as history and criticism (Robert A. Nye – American Historical Review)

mitpress.mit.edu

Che cos’è l’epistemologia storica?

Matteo Vagelli  Philosophie.ch

Contrariamente alle altre correnti epistemologiche novecentesche, all’epistemologia storica non corrisponde né un metodo formalizzato, né una lista di autori ritenuti canonici. Si può però avere un’idea abbastanza precisa di che cosa sia l’epistemologia storica guardando con attenzione almeno a due dei contesti filosofici in cui l’utilizzo di quest’espressione ha giocato un ruolo importante.

Si ritiene che lo storico della scienza francese Abel Rey sia stato il primo ad utilizzare l’espressione “épistémologie historique” nel 1907, nella sua tesi di dottorato in storia della fisica. Occorre notare come già il termine “épistémologie” abbia una connotazione diversa rispetto all’inglese “epistemology”, spesso usato come sinonimo di gnoseologia o di teoria della conoscenza. Con “épistémologie” si intende invece la filosofia della scienza, compresa come “lo studio critico dei principi, delle ipotesi e dei risultati delle diverse scienze, finalizzato a determinare la loro origine logica (non psicologica), il loro valore e la loro portata obiettiva” (Lalande, Vocabulaire technique et critique de la philosophie, 1902-1923). Per Rey, quindi, se, da un lato, i filosofi anglo-americani, col termine “epistemology”, intendono delle “ricerche trascendentali sui principi e le condizioni generali della scienza”, un’epistemologia storica sarà invece “una ricerca storica sullo spirito generale di ogni scienza”, vale a dire, “una ricerca documentaria, l’insieme delle osservazioni storiche necessarie per fondare una visione d’insieme esatta sulle diverse scienze” (La théorie physique chez les physiciens contemporains, 1907). Per certi versi è possibile far risalire questa definizione, così come molti altri tratti salienti dell’epistemologia storica francese, ad Auguste Comte e a varie fasi successive di rielaborazione, anche critica, del suo positivismo originario. Una “preistoria” dell’epistemologia storica dovrebbe quindi includere i dibattiti attorno alla scienza, i suoi metodi e i suoi scopi animati da scienziati e filosofi come Antoine Augustine Cournot, Gaston Milhaud, Léon Brunschvicg, Pierre Duhem e Henri Poincaré, solo per citarne alcuni.

È senz’altro la Francia della prima metà del secolo scorso a rappresentare uno dei momenti più intensi di elaborazione dell’epistemologia storica, che si fa spazio tra le alternative teoriche dell’epoca, quali la fenomenologia, la psicanalisi e il marxismo. La diffusione del termine “epistemologia storica” si deve a Dominique Lecourt, che l’ha utilizzato per riferirsi ai lavori di Gaston Bachelard. L’epistemologia storica, secondo Lecourt, non deve essere compresa nel senso di una “storia dell’epistemologia” – una visione retrospettiva sulle epistemologie del passato o sulle teorie della conoscenza abbandonate. Per Lecourt, Bachelard, “aprendo il campo dell’epistemologia storica, ha messo a nudo […] le condizioni reali – storiche – della produzione delle conoscenze scientifiche” (L’épistémologie historique de Gaston Bachelard, 1969). L’epistemologia è allora storica perché non può fare a meno di considerare il suo oggetto, la conoscenza scientifica, come un oggetto storico. Lo stesso Lecourt ha poi articolato l’epistemologia bachelardiana sulla “storia epistemologica” di Georges Canguilhem e su quella “archeologica” di Michel Foucault (Pour une critique de l’épistémologie: Bachelard, Canguilhem, Foucault, 1972). Ciò ha contribuito a rafforzare l’idea che ai lavori di Bachelard, Canguilhem e Foucault corrisponda una fase fortemente caratterizzante dell’epistemologia francese. Anche se non si può parlare, a proposito di questi tre autori, di una vera e propria tradizione o di una scuola di pensiero, è possibile rimarcare una certa continuità tra di loro, e non solo a livello metodologico. Canguilhem, infatti, da un lato succede a Bachelard alla cattedra di storia e filosofia della scienza della Sorbona e alla direzione dell’Institut d’Histoire et de Philosophie des Sciences et des Techniques (fondato da Rey nel 1932), dall’altro dirige la tesi di dottorato di Foucault, col quale mantiene poi un rapporto intellettuale fino alla morte di quest’ultimo.

Coloro i quali riconoscono in questa fase uno tra i momenti più rappresentativi dell’epistemologia storica francese tendono anche a riconoscere nel tema della discontinuità epistemologica il tratto distintivo di quest’approccio allo studio della scienza e del sapere in generale. Bachelard ritiene che tra senso comune ed esperienza scientifica non vi sia un passaggio fluido o una continuità sostanziale, ma una rottura netta. Diversamente da quanto postulato, per esempio, da Émile Meyerson, secondo Bachelard il pensiero scientifico non procede in maniera continua e cumulativa, ma per mutazioni, spesso improvvise, che cambiano radicalmente i suoi quadri concettuali. Se Canguilhem e Foucault mutuano da Bachelard quest’attenzione per le “rotture” è anche vero che ne modulano l’applicazione in funzione dei rispettivi campi d’indagine. Se, fino a Bachelard, le scienze oggetto dell’epistemologia francese si limitano sostanzialmente alle scienze naturali, fisiche, chimiche e matematiche, con Canguilhem queste si ampliano alle scienze della vita quali fisiologia e biologia. Con Foucault il raggio d’azione si amplia ulteriormente fino ad includere la psicologia, la medicina e le scienze umane. In biologia, ad esempio, non è possibile reperire con facilità rotture nette e rivoluzionarie come quelle tra la fisica classica e quella quantistica. Inoltre, il terreno “archeologico” delle indagini foucaultiane si riferisce ad un insieme di eventi discorsivi più “profondi” di quello degli enunciati scientifici della fisica, della biologia e della psicologia, e ne costituisce piuttosto l’insieme delle condizioni storiche di possibilità. Ed è proprio in virtù della differenza tra le “regioni” o “strati” del sapere presi in esame che Bachelard, Canguilhem e Foucault fanno un appello diverso alla categoria della discontinuità.

A prima vista non c’è niente di più opposto ai principi dell’epistemologia storica che il programma del neopositivismo del Circolo di Vienna o di Berlino. Il neopositivismo o empirismo logico si caratterizza per un approccio astorico e per un programma che mira all’unificazione della scienza, così come per una attenzione quasi esclusiva per la teoria, a discapito della sperimentazione. Sembra quindi opporsi punto su punto alla corrente dell’epistemologia francese che è detta “storica” in ragione del suo approccio “regionale” e “pratico” alla conoscenza. In realtà, sia i primi rappresentanti dell’epistemologia storica, sia gli esponenti del neopositivismo intendono promuovere l’idea di una “filosofia scientifica” in contrasto con la filosofia tradizionale. In un certo senso questi due approcci si sono imposti come reazioni ed elaborazioni del positivismo originario di Comte: il convenzionalismo di Pierre Duhem, e, in un certo senso, di Abel Rey, così come il fenomenalismo di Ernst Mach e di Henri Poincaré sono altrettanti punti di riferimento comuni tra positivismo logico ed epistemologia storica. Gli incontri effettivi tra alcuni rappresentanti dell’una e dell’altra tradizione non sembrano però aver dato luogo né ad una comprensione reciproca, né allo scambio effettivo e duraturo di interessi e preoccupazioni. Questo mancato dialogo ha senz’altro contribuito a creare quello iato tra la filosofia della scienza “continentale” e quella anglosassone che ha caratterizzato i decenni successivi, fino ad oggi.

Se si può parlare di un dialogo mancato tra neopositivismo ed epistemologia storica, significativo è invece l’incrocio di quest’ultima con il marxismo althusseriano e con la sociologia bourdesiana. Sia Louis Althusser che Pierre Bourdieu si sono detti debitori nei confronti tanto della “scuola bachelardiana” quanto del “magistero intellettuale” di Canguilhem, e ritengono di aver proseguito l’epistemologia storica in direzioni diverse. È proprio nell’accezione marxista che si trovano, a partire dagli anni ’70, i primi riferimenti all’epistemologia storica in ambito anglosassone. Lo storico della scienza statunitense Marx Wartofsky usa il termine “historical epistemology” per riferirsi allo studio dell’influenza delle rappresentazioni o dei modelli sulla percezione umana, intesa come prassi cognitiva risultato non solo di un processo biologico, ma anche di una evoluzione storica e sociale (Models. Representation and the Scientific Understanding, 1979). Nello stesso solco sembra muoversi il filosofo della scienza polacco Jerzy Kmita (Problems in Historical Epistemology, 1980), il quale sostiene una sostanziale continuità, se non una vera e propria confusione, tra l’epistemologia storica e il materialismo storico.

Il secondo avvio dell’historical epistemology è indipendente non solo rispetto ai primi usi nel contesto dell’epistemologia marxista, ma anche alla tradizione epistemologica francese. Esso si deve ad un gruppo di storici e filosofi della scienza riunitisi nel 1982/1983 a Bielefeld per lavorare ad uno studio storico di un concetto epistemologico, quello di probabilità. Il gruppo, che comprende studiosi quali Lorraine Daston, Theodore Porter e Ian Hacking, è diretto da Lorenz Krüger, storico e filosofo della scienza tedesco e principale fautore della creazione del Max Planck Institute for the History of Science di Berlino. L’idea dell’istituto, che sarà poi effettivamente inaugurato solamente nel 1994, si consolida a Bielefeld, insieme all’idea che le sue ricerche debbano coniugare storia e filosofia della scienza sotto la bandiera dell’epistemologia storica.

Nei primi anni duemila, con il riacuirsi, in ambito anglosassone, del cosiddetto dibattito sul “matrimonio” tra storia e filosofia della scienza, si riaccende anche il dibattito sull’epistemologia storica e una serie di conferenze e pubblicazioni mette in luce la mancanza di una definizione univoca di questo tipo di epistemologia. In questo contesto, con “historical epistemology”, ci si riferisce generalmente a quelle ricerche che si propongono di storicizzare la forma delle dimostrazioni, gli standard di spiegazione o le categorie quali conoscenza, credenza, evidenza, oggettività o probabilità, che strutturano il pensiero scientifico. Riecheggiando il metodo archeologico foucaultiano, Hacking scrive che “la preistoria della probabilità è più importante della sua storia”, nella “misura in cui le precondizioni per l’emergenza del nostro concetto di probabilità hanno determinato la natura stessa di questo oggetto intellettuale” (The Emergence of Probability, 1975). Gli studi su concetti dalla portata apparentemente più circoscritta, quali ad esempio quelli di sessualità e di perversione (A. Davidson, The Emergence of Sexuality. Historical Epistemology and the Formation of Concepts, 2002), mettono in luce quell’intreccio tra storia dell’oggettività e storia della soggettività che costituisce un ulteriore elemento di continuità tra l’epistemologia storica contemporanea e la metodologia foucaultiana.

Le alternative teoriche tra cui si inserisce l’historical epistemology sono principalmente riconducibili alla storia culturale e alla storia sociale. Entrambe queste “storie” danno in un certo senso per scontato il loro oggetto d’indagine, l’una limitandosi all’analisi delle cause che lo producono, l’altra ai significati che esso genera per i membri di una data comunità. Anziché catene causali o reti di significati, l’epistemologia storica mette a fuoco la formazione di reti o sistemi concettuali governati da regole. L’historical epistemology intende rivedere, se non proprio abbandonare, alcune divisioni ancora operative in molta filosofia della scienza anglosassone, come la separazione netta tra fatti e valori, o tra contesto della scoperta e contesto della giustificazione. La nozione di metodo scientifico viene pluralizzata (si parla di “stili di ragionamento scientifici”) ed è il suo senso euristico, legato alla scoperta, più che quello logico, relativo alla validazione di un dato enunciato o teoria, ad essere considerato con maggiore attenzione. Ma mentre gli epistemologi storici francesi sembrano ritenere che la storia di un concetto serva non solo a comprenderne la traiettoria o il funzionamento, ma a fornire per così dire un test della sua validità, l’epistemologia storica contemporanea, più preoccupata di evitare le tendenze costruttivistiche e relativistiche di molta sociologia della conoscenza, intende generalmente storicizzare le categorie della scienza senza per questo rimetterne in questione la validità.

Da questa panoramica, senza dubbio parziale, si evince che non è possibile dare una risposta univoca alla domanda “che cos’è l’epistemologia storica?”, in quanto questa è stata intesa in sensi anche molto diversi tra loro, spesso in funzione degli specifici problemi posti da un determinato contesto filosofico. Sarebbe però sbagliato ritenere che i due quadri, quello francese e quello anglosassone, non avendo nessun legame storico forte, siano assolutamente “incommensurabili” anche a livello concettuale. In realtà, sia l’epistemologia storica francese che quella anglosassone assegnano alla storia della scienza il ruolo che nell’epistemologia tradizionale è affidato alla logica o alla teoria della scienza. In senso ampio, quindi, l’epistemologia storica può essere compresa come un’indagine sulle condizioni (sia concettuali che tecniche) tramite cui qualcosa può diventare un oggetto di sapere e di conoscenza scientifica più in particolare. Inoltre, con il termine “epistemologia storica”, ci si può riferire alla delimitazione di un insieme di problemi riguardanti le implicazioni delle diverse maniere di storicizzare l’epistemologia. Da questo punto di vista, le riflessioni, non solo di Bachelard, Canguilhem e Foucault, ma anche, tra gli altri, di Hélène Metzger e Alexandre Koyré, sul ruolo della storia della scienza nell’epistemologia possono portare un grande contributo ai dibattiti attuali sull’integrazione tra filosofia e storia della scienza.