French historical epistemology: Discourse, concepts, and the norms of rationality.


School of Humanities and Liberal Studies, San Francisco State University, USA. Electronic address: [Email]


In recent years, analytic philosophers have begun to recognize the value of the French school of historical epistemology (as embodied by figures such as Jean Cavaillès, Gaston Bachelard, Georges Canguilhem, and Michel Foucault) for contemporary debates in the history and philosophy of science. This tradition, which some characterize as a 'French' approach to the philosophy of science, however, remains largely un-read by mainstream philosophers of science. This article offers an interpretation of this tradition, highlighting what the author takes to be its two central features: (i) its claim that scientific discourse is the object of epistemology and (ii) its claim that scientific concepts are the building blocks of scientific discourse.


French historical epistemology,History and philosophy of science,Jean Cavaillès,Meta-epistemology,The philosophy of the concept,

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