Bachelard Today: Towards a Post-Scientific Mind?

Event Summary

A workshop featuring Elie During (University of Paris Ouest – Nanterre) and Eileen Rizo-Patron (SUNY Binghamton) and held on the 60th anniversary of the philosopher Gaston Bachelard’s death.

Bachelard Today addressed 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.