Biography (World Philosophers and Their Works)
Article abstract: Bachelard was a major figure in the “criticism of science” school, which argues that scientific activity involves merely observing and analyzing reality. Bachelard pointed out that reality, or the “real world,” is constantly changing, and therefore attempts to approximate reality do not involve concrete knowledge of things.
Gaston Bachelard was born in a small town about two hundred kilometers south of Paris. His father and his grandfather were shoemakers, and he grew up in modest circumstances. He finished secondary school in his hometown of Bar-sur-Aube, served briefly as a teaching assistant, and then became a clerk in the telegraph and post office in the town of Remiremont in 1903. Bachelard served in the military as a telegraphist and then returned to the postal service in 1907. He was assigned to the Gare de l’Est post office in Paris, where he began to pursue further education.
Intending to become an engineer, Bachelard took up the study of mathematics at Lycée Saint-Louis in Paris in 1909. He received his first diploma, a licence in mathematics, at the age of twenty-one. In the summer of 1914, Bachelard married a schoolteacher from his region. One month later, World War I broke out. He again entered the military and fought in the trenches for more than three years, receiving the Croix de Guerre medal.
At the end of the war, Bachelard...
(The entire section is 2480 words.)
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