Marxism and Epistemology: Bachelard, Canguilhem and Foucault by Dominique Lecourt

By Dominique Lecourt

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He shows, indeed, especially in Applied Rationalism, that the problematics of the different sciences are not wholly indep~ndent of one another, but only relatively autonomous, and that zones ot partial overlap may appear. What he calls trans-1'ationalism 12 and shows at work with respect to piezo-electricity is of interest insofar as it enables us to pose the elements of a theory of scientific loans. Bachelard writes that trans-rationalism is established at the end of prolonged theoretical effort, by the intermediary of an algebraic organization.

Ons. ontemporaine, p. 163). It is to the outline of that analysis that Bachelard proceeds In thiS chapter. '"· ,But there is more, says Gaston Bachelard, proceeding with his commentary on the philosophical spectrum: it is possible to consider that on each side of the fold the doctrines are complementary and themselves ordered with respect to the outer extreme; Idealism on the one hand; Realism on the other. It is these two extreme points that ensure the consistency of the 'inferior' doctrines, so much so that it would not be incorrect, it seems to me, to duplicate the inscribed arrows with inverse arrows.

A few lines earlier the polemical value ofthese affirmations stands out: 'It is perhaps astonishing that scientific specialization is so facilely, so constantly denounced as a mutilation of thought. '76 If my thesis is accepted, this 'facileness', this 'constancy' will be seen as the effect of a typically philosophical resistance. The most remarkable text in this respect is undoubtedly the one to be found in the Bulletin de la Societe Franfaise de la Philosophie, 'On the Nature of Rationalism', beginning as follows: 'It is specialization which gives the rationalist tonus!

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