Ideology and Rationality in the History of the Life Sciences

Overview

Georges Canguilhem is one of the most distinguished French epistemologists and historians of science of our time. His influence on Michel Foucault and Camille Limoges is well known, and his work in the history of the biological sciences, particularly the nineteenth century, is regarded as seminal. Throughout his long career Canguilhem has been concerned with the way in which ideas originate and become transformed in scientific discourse, and with the role played by ideological factors in determining the direction...
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Overview

Georges Canguilhem is one of the most distinguished French epistemologists and historians of science of our time. His influence on Michel Foucault and Camille Limoges is well known, and his work in the history of the biological sciences, particularly the nineteenth century, is regarded as seminal. Throughout his long career Canguilhem has been concerned with the way in which ideas originate and become transformed in scientific discourse, and with the role played by ideological factors in determining the direction if not the results of scientific work. This book collects his published essays of the 1970s.

Here Canguilhem convincingly demonstrates the extent to which theorists and laboratory scientists alike are influenced by the compulsion to achieve results that will be consistent with distinctly nonscientific concepts. The role of ideology and the relationship between epistemology and history of science are confronted directly in a wide range of examples drawn from the history of the life sciences, from the scientific revolution to post Mendelian genetics. Canguilhem's writing is always clear and accessible. Balancing internal and external approaches and theory and example, he reveals as few other philosophers of science can the way in which scientists really work.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Here Canguilhem convincingly demonstrates the extent to which theorists and laboratory scientists alike are influenced by the compulsion to achieve results that will be consistent with distinctly nonscientific concepts. Acidic paper. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262530941
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 8/15/1990
  • Pages: 174
  • Product dimensions: 3.30 (w) x 0.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Georges Canguilhem is Professor Emeritus at the Sorbonne and former director of the Institut d'Histoire des Sciences et des Techniques de l'Université de Paris. His works include La Connaissance de la Vie, Ideology and Rationality in the History of the Life Sciences, and The Normal and the Pathological.
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