Article

What Have We Been Missing? Science and Philosophy in Twentieth-Century French Thought

Gary Gutting

in The Oxford Handbook of Continental Philosophy

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780199234097
Published online September 2009 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199234097.003.0007

Series: OXFORD HANDBOOKS IN PHILOSOPHY

 What Have We Been Missing? Science and Philosophy in Twentieth-Century French Thought

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Philosophy of science developed in the nineteenth century from continuations of and reactions to Kant's critical philosophy. The project arose from modern science's challenge to the cognitive authority of traditional philosophy. Galileo, Descartes, and Newton no doubt thought of themselves as philosophers, answering fundamental questions about the nature of planetary and terrestrial motions that had been central for ‘natural philosophy’. It gradually became apparent, however, that the empirical methods of the new natural philosophy were quite different from the a priori methods of traditional philosophy; and the question gradually arose of what, if anything, there remained for philosophy in the traditional sense to do. Kant placed this question at the center of philosophical thinking, where it has remained ever since. Philosophical discussions of science have, after Kant, displayed various fundamental attitudes toward scientific knowledge. These attitudes define the main directions in French philosophy of science during the twentieth century.

Keywords: philosophy; Galileo; Descartes; Newton; empirical methods

Article.  11891 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; History of Western Philosophy ; Philosophy of Science

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