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Ideology and Rationality in the History of the Life Sciences

Georges Canguilhem is one of the most distinguished French epistemologists and historians of science of our time. His influence on Michel Foucault and Camille Limoges is well known, and his work in the history of the biological sciences, particularly the nineteenth century, is regarded as seminal. Throughout his long career Canguilhem has been concerned with the way in which ideas originate and become transformed in scientific discourse, and with the role played by ideological factors in determining the direction if not the results of scientific work. This book collects his published essays of the 1970s.

Here Canguilhem convincingly demonstrates the extent to which theorists and laboratory scientists alike are influenced by the compulsion to achieve results that will be consistent with distinctly nonscientific concepts. The role of ideology and the relationship between epistemology and history of science are confronted directly in a wide range of examples drawn from the history of the life sciences, from the scientific revolution to post Mendelian genetics. Canguilhem’s writing is always clear and accessible. Balancing internal and external approaches and theory and example, he reveals as few other philosophers of science can the way in which scientists really work.

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Author: Georges Canguilhem

Editor/Translator: Arthur Goldhammer

Binding: Paperback

Manufacturer: The MIT Press

Number of items: 1

Number of pages: 174

Product group: Book

Studio: The MIT Press

Publication Date: August 15, 1990

Publisher: The MIT Press

Pages: 174

EAN: 9780262530941

ISBN: 0262530945

ASIN: 0262530945

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Art Goldhammer
Writer, translator, scholar, blogger on French Politics, affiliate of Harvard's Center for European Studies, writes for The American Prospect, The Nation, etc.