Michel Serres

(b. 1930)

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Frenchphilosopher of science. Born in Agen, in south-western France, Serres studied at naval college and the École Normale Supérieure. Following his agrégation in 1955, he did his compulsory military service in the national maritime service. In 1968 he gained a doctorate for a thesis on the mathematical work of the German philosopher Leibniz. During the 1960s he taught at Clermont-Ferrand and Vincennes, before being given a post at the Sorbonne where he remained for the rest of his career. Operating at the extreme edge of structuralism, Serres's research seeks a common point between mathematics and mythology, a paradigm of knowledge consisting of pure forms purged of all their content. His position is that poetry, mythology, philosophy, and science are all systems and are in that respect comparable. His interest, then, is to discover what is central to each type of system, including that which the system purposefully excludes (e.g. disorder, noise, and turbulence). He calls this approach logoanalysis.

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies.

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