Hannah, Charlotte, Katie, Tom Review and presentation for Gaston Bachelard
We think the pack seems to be very accurate and well researched, ﾊ i t has covered a wide range of Bachelard ﾕ s views and ideas. It looks like the group have studied his books very well, especialy his ideas about fire and architecture. But in the biography it is clear that his mainstream views are on the philosophys of science and epistemology, the theory of knowledge. And I think that your group should look into this with more detail.We found that the pack a huge insight into his works, and that they have used some good quotes. One issue with the pack is that we ﾊ f ound some of it hard to read, and that it hasen ﾕ t been translated well enough for easy reading. Again we found the sections on the theorists influenced and inspired by Bachelard were slightly hard to understand and ﾊ m inimal. There needed to be more of a clear link between ﾊ t he work of other theorists, and the work of Bachelard, and how they had influenced each other. This area in general did not appear to have been ﾊ r esearced in very great detail, with not many influences looked into. ﾊ W e were unable to find evidence of a section of work ﾊ o n the subject of how Bachelard influenced ﾊ a rt/performance/society/theatre.The pack seems to be referenced well as their bibliography is very full with dates, names and seems to be correct. ﾊ
o Gaston Bachelard was a French philosopher.
o His most important works are concerned with poetics and the philosophy of science.
o He introduced the concepts of ‘epistemological obstacle’ and epistemological breaks’.
o ‘Epistemology’ or the ‘theory of knowledge’ is a branch of philosophy that studies nature, methods, limitations and validity of knowledge and belief. It focuses on analysing the nature of knowledge and how it relates to notions such a truth, belief and justification. It also deals with the means of production of knowledge, as well as scepticism about different knowledge claims.
Primarily it addresses the following questions –
What is knowledge?
How is knowledge acquired?
What do people know?
o Bachelard made a connection between psychology and the history of science.
o His work on history and the philosophy of science was based on his views of historical epistemology, as psychoanalysis of the mind, taking into account psychological factors in the development of science.
o He thought certain types of mental patterns could block the progress of science. This he called the ‘epistemological break’.
o In addition to epistemology, Bachelard’s work deals with many other topics including poetry, dreams, psychoanalysis and the imagination.
“ Psychoanalysis of Fire”
o What is fire?
o Fire is both intimate and universal, representing good and evil.
o Our knowledge of fire comes from a social reality not a natural one. Our respect from fire comes from discipline, for example a child being told off for playing with fire. Our earliest memories of discipline lead to our general knowledge later in life.
o Fire is a metaphor for nearing death.
o The Novalis complex: the rubbing of two sticks first created fire together. This action is highly sexualised meaning fire is a metaphor for sex and reproduction.
o Fire seems to have no limit to its power, ‘fire feeds itself’.
o Alcohol or ‘fire-water’ is an example of this. It holds great power within a small volume.
“ The Poetics of Reverie”
o ‘Reverie’ – state of idle and pleasant contemplation.
o The work is an investigation of poetry and its associations with philosophy.
o Words like ‘daydream’, ‘remembrance’ in French are feminine words and are soft sounding, the characteristics we associate with femininity. Bachelard believes this feminine element in a word heightens our pleasure of saying it.
o It is impossible to study imagination objectively as we only receive images that we admire in some way. Intellectual criticism will never lead to an understanding of the source poetic images.
o ‘The human psyche init primitive state is androgynous – men are 51% male and women 51% female. Modern society creates gender, as we know it.
Adolescence is the ‘fever time’ of human life. Only a child knows the happiness of dreaming, as they know existence without boundaries, giving them freedom