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-Â entury Franceâs most original thinkers. French-Âanguage readers may know him as the author of La Psychanalyse du feu and LâEau et les rÃªves, but English-Âanguage readers know him primarily as the author of The Poetics of Space. As Smithâs 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, Bachelardâs 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 Bachelardâs writings on the scientific mind as it was transformed by relativity, quantum physics, and modern chemistry. He also examines Bachelardâs 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 Bachelardâs 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)
The Comparatist – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Nov 1, 2017
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