Monday, September 19th 7:00-8:30pm Public Talk with Elie During: more information HERE
Tuesday, September 20th 2:00-5:00pm Roundtable Workshop
Advance Registration Required: Please RSVP by writing Jeanne Etelain at firstname.lastname@example.org. The seminar is open to faculty members and graduate students. Suggested texts will be made available.
Please note that both events will take place in English
The Knowledge Alphabets H-Lab
as a part of
Bachelard 60th Anniversary
Workshop: “Bachelard Today: Towards a Post-Scientific Mind?”
Tuesday, September 20th, 2022 - 2pm-5pm
We are excited to announce a workshop featuring Elie During and Eileen Rizo-Patron as part of French philosopher Gaston Bachelard’s 60th death anniversary.
This workshop will address the possibility of “a post-scientific mind” through an oblique re-reading of a classic text, The Formation of the Scientific Mind by Gaston Bachelard. The post-scientific mind can be understood in at least three ways: 1) it may refer to a period in the history of scientific thought that comes after the triumph of modern science, i.e., our present moment marked by a crisis of scientific objectivity and emphasis on situated knowledge, a distrust towards the authority of science in the post-truth era, and a relativization of scientific progress in the face of ecological devastation; 2) defined in a more positive way, the post-scientific mind may designate how modern science is now integrated within a broader conception of epistemology within a pluri-ontological schema that includes other forms of knowledge such as vernacular and indigenous knowledges, without assuming a linear or teleological dynamic of thought ; 3) lastly, the post-scientific mind can be understood as a scientific mind beyond the human through a network of agential relations that integrate at the same time biogeochemical interactions, measuring instruments, calculation computers, economic systems, social relations, political agendas, power dynamics, and so forth.
Our starting hypothesis is that these contemporary questions allow us at once to extend and challenge Bachelard’s theoretical tools. First, Bachelard advances an image of thought in motion, that goes back and forth between reason and experience within a process of knowledge that is always open because never-ending. Through this movement, the subject and the object of knowledge are reciprocally co-constituted: facts are ideas embedded in a system of thoughts, with the mind constructing scientific problems in its course. However, Bachelard seems to prescribe a movement of thought which goes from concrete observation to mathematical abstraction through progressive detachment: first from sensible experience shaped by human values (the substantialist obstacle), then from linguistic metaphors (the animist obstacle), and finally from geometrical figures (the quantitative obstacle). The strict opposition that Bachelard draws between image and concept seems to be challenged today by the need to produce alternative narratives in science (feminist epistemologies and new materialisms), while speculation for its own sake has gained credentials (speculative realism and the renewal of metaphysics). Against this backdrop, some of the questions with which we grapple are the following: what is scientific progress today? do we face new epistemological obstacles? what is the role of error in knowledge? what would be an epistemology of philosophy?
Elie During is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Paris Ouest. His research focuses on the philosophical implications of relativity theory. His publications include an introduction to Poincaré’s philosophy of science (La Science et l’Hypothèse, 2001), an essay on the nature of time (The Future does not Exist, 2014), two critical editions of Bergson, a coedited volume on contemporary metaphysics of realism (Choses en soi, 2018, English translation forthcoming from Edinburgh University Press), and most recently a critical edition of Bachelard’s Dialectique de la durée (2021).
Eileen Rizo-Patron is a Comparative Literature scholar who is a specialist of Bachelard’s work. She is the translator of Bachelard’s Intuition of the Instant (Northwestern University Press, 2013) from French into English, editor of a collection of critical essays entitled Adventures in Phenomenology: Gaston Bachelard (SUNY Press, 2017), as well as co-editor of Traversing the Heart: Journeys of the Inter-Religious Imagination (Brill, 2011) with Richard Kearney. She has also published several articles on literature and philosophy.
Julie Beauté, Aix-Marseille Université, ADES (France)
Alexander Campolo, Durham University (UK)
Jeanne Etelain, New York University (USA)
Sam Kellogg, New York University (USA)
Alexander Miller, Ghent University (Belgium)
Pierre Schwarzer, New York University (USA)
Meg Wiessner, New York University (USA)