L’oggetto impuro dell’epistemologia storica di Georges Canguilhem

Chimisso, Cristina (2019). L’oggetto impuro dell’epistemologia storica di Georges Canguilhem. In: Lupi, Fiorenza and Pilotto, Stefano eds. Infrangere le norme: vita, scienza e tecnica nel pensiero di Georges Canguilhem. Milan: Mimesis, pp. 11–29.


Unlike the object of other epistemologies, the object of historical epistemology is historical and regional, as it focuses on individual sciences, indeed particular domains within a science, in their historical development. But how does the historical epistemologist construct her historical and regional object? Which type of history can answer epistemological questions? I analyse the object of Georges Canguilhem’s epistemology in the context of historical epistemology, by comparing it in particular with Léon Brunschvicg’s and Gaston Bachelard’s. I argue that the ‘impure’ objects of the life sciences and medicine guided Canguilhem towards a view of the epistemologist’s object which similarly cannot be rectified in the way that Bachelard had proposed.

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