Epistemological rupture

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search

Epistemological rupture, or epistemological break, is an influential notion introduced by French philosopher Gaston Bachelard,[1][2] and later used by Louis Althusser.[3] He proposed that the history of science is replete with "epistemological obstacles" – or unthought/unconscious structures that were immanent within the realm of the sciences, such as principles of division (e.g., mind/body). The history of science, Bachelard asserted, consisted in the formation and establishment of these epistemological obstacles, and then the subsequent tearing down of the obstacles. This latter stage is an epistemological rupture—where an unconscious obstacle to scientific thought is thoroughly ruptured or broken away from.

Epistemology, from the Greek words episteme (knowledge) and logos (word/speech) is the branch of philosophy that deals with the nature, origin and scope of knowledge. Rupture, from Old French rupture or Latin ruptura is defined as an instance of breaking or bursting suddenly and completely, as well as a breach of a harmonious link in a figurative way.

See also


  1. The Formation of the Scientific Mind: A Contribution to a Psychoanalysis of Objective Knowledge, Ed : Beacon Press (MA) (september 1986), ISBN 978-0-8070-1501-8
  2. Mary Tiles Bachelard, science and objectivity p.12
  3. Louis Althusser, For Marx