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Gaston Bachelard: Philosopher of Science and Imagination by Roch C. Smith (review)

Gaston Bachelard: Philosopher of Science and Imagination by Roch C. Smith (review) Roch C. Smith, Gaston Bachelard: Philosopher of Science and Imagination Albany, New York: SUNY Press, 2016, 192 pp. Gaston Bachelard, says Roch Smith, is one of twentieth-­ entury France’s most original thinkers. French-­anguage readers may know him as the author of La Psychanalyse du feu and L’Eau et les rêves, but English-­anguage readers know him primarily as the author of The Poetics of Space. As Smith’s subtitle indicates, in addition to his poetics, Bachelard also made significant contributions to the philosophy and history of science. Indeed, as Smith argues and demonstrates, Bachelard’s writings on the literary imagination can be better understood in light of how knowledge works in a scientific context. Accordingly, he gives us a splendid overview of Bachelard’s writings on the scientific mind as it was transformed by relativity, quantum physics, and modern chemistry. He also examines Bachelard’s works on poetics, arguing that they derive from and are based on the intellectual values he derived from science. But that is not all. Smith also analyzes Bachelard’s views on epistemology and ontology as they apply to both science and the imagination. Among other things, he explores the mythology of the four elements (fire, water, air, and earth) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Comparatist University of North Carolina Press

Gaston Bachelard: Philosopher of Science and Imagination by Roch C. Smith (review)

The Comparatist , Volume 41 – Nov 1, 2017

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Southern Comparative Literature Association.
ISSN
1559-0887
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Abstract

Roch C. Smith, Gaston Bachelard: Philosopher of Science and Imagination Albany, New York: SUNY Press, 2016, 192 pp. Gaston Bachelard, says Roch Smith, is one of twentieth-­ entury France’s most original thinkers. French-­anguage readers may know him as the author of La Psychanalyse du feu and L’Eau et les rêves, but English-­anguage readers know him primarily as the author of The Poetics of Space. As Smith’s subtitle indicates, in addition to his poetics, Bachelard also made significant contributions to the philosophy and history of science. Indeed, as Smith argues and demonstrates, Bachelard’s writings on the literary imagination can be better understood in light of how knowledge works in a scientific context. Accordingly, he gives us a splendid overview of Bachelard’s writings on the scientific mind as it was transformed by relativity, quantum physics, and modern chemistry. He also examines Bachelard’s works on poetics, arguing that they derive from and are based on the intellectual values he derived from science. But that is not all. Smith also analyzes Bachelard’s views on epistemology and ontology as they apply to both science and the imagination. Among other things, he explores the mythology of the four elements (fire, water, air, and earth)

Journal

The ComparatistUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Nov 1, 2017

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