Massimiliano Simons
University of Ghent
The work of Gaston Bachelard is known for two crucial concepts, that of the epistemological rupture and that of phenomenotechnique. A crucial question is, however, how these two concepts relate to one another. Are they in fact essentially connected or must they be seen as two separate elements of Bachelard’s thinking? This paper aims to analyse the relation between these two Bachelardian moments and the significance of the concept of phenomenotechnique for today. This will be done by examining how the concepts of Bachelard have been used from the 1960s on. From this historical perspective, one gets the impression that these two concepts are relatively independent from each other. The Althusserian school has exclusively focused on the concept of ‘epistemological break’, while scholars from Science & Technology Studies, such as Bruno Latour, seem to have only taken up the concept of phenomenotechnique. It in fact leads to two different models of how to think about science, namely the model of purification and the model of proliferation. The former starts from the idea that sciences are rational to the extent that they are purified and free from obstacles. Scientific objectivity, within this later model, is not achieved by eradicating all intermediaries, obstacles and distortions, but rather exactly by introducing as many relevant technical mediators as possible. Finally, such a strong distinction will be criticized and the argument will be made that both in Bachelard’s and Latour's thought both concepts are combined. This leads to a janus-headed view on science, where both the element of purification and the element of proliferation are combined.
Keywords Gaston Bachelard  Bruno Latour  Louis Althusser  Phenomenotechnique
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2018
DOI 10.1007/s13194-018-0206-8
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

We Have Never Been Modern.Bruno Latour - 1993 - Harvard University Press.
Pandora’s Hope.Bruno Latour - 1998 - Harvard University Press.

View all 61 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Produktiver Schein. Phänomenotechnik zwischen Wissenschaft und Ästhetik.Emmanuel Alloa - 2015 - Zeitschrift für Ästhetik Und Allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft 60 (2):169-182.
Gaston Bachelard and His Reactions to Phenomenology.Anton Vydra - 2014 - Continental Philosophy Review 47 (1):45-58.
Narrative and Epistemology: Georges Canguilhem's Concept of Scientific Ideology.Cristina Chimisso - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 54:64-73.
Bachelard: Science and Objectivity.Mary Tiles - 1984 - Cambridge University Press.
Vom Nutzen des Augenblicks für die Projekte der Wissenschaft†.Monika Wulz - 2012 - Berichte Zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte 35 (2):131-146.
Bachelard: Science and Objectivity.Mary Tiles - 1984 - Cambridge University Press.
De Epistemologie Van Gaston Bachelard.W. N. A. Klever - 1979 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 41 (1):3 - 34.
Between Grotto And Cave - The Platonic Commentary To Bachelard’s Essay.Anna Olejarczyk - 2012 - Studia Philosophica Wratislaviensia 7 (3):117-137.
Why Bachelard is Not a Scientific Realist.Daniel Mcarthur - 2002 - Philosophical Forum 33 (2):159–172.


Added to PP index

Total views
253 ( #42,623 of 2,499,227 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
26 ( #33,690 of 2,499,227 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes