Please cite using original publication data:

Babette Babich, “Towards a Critical Philosophy of Science: Continental Beginnings and Bugbears, Whigs and Waterbears.” International Journal of the Philosophy of Science. Vol. 24, No. 4 (December 2010): 343-391.


Continental Philosophy | History of Philosophy | Philosophy of Science


Continental philosophy of science has developed alongside mainstream analytic philosophy of science. But where continental approaches are inclusive, analytic philosophies of science are not – excluding not merely Nietzsche’s philosophy of science but Gödel’s philosophy of physics. As a radicalization of Kant, Nietzsche’s critical philosophy of science puts science in question and Nietzsche’s critique of the methodological foundations of classical philology bears on science, particularly evolution as well as style (in art and science). In addition to the critical (in Mach, Nietzsche, Heidegger but also Husserl just to the extent that continental philosophy of science tends to depart from a reflection on the crisis of foundations), other continental philosophies of science include phenomenology (Husserl, Bachelard, Merleau-Ponty, etc.) and hermeneutics (Heidegger, Gadamer, Heelan, etc.), especially incorporating history of science (Nietzsche, Mach, Duhem, Butterfield, Feyerabend, etc.). Examples are drawn from the philosophy of sciences (chemistry, geology, and biology) other than physics.



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