Re: The Empirical

Stuart Chaulk writes:

> Foucault continually juxtaposes science with the empirical ....
>Does the Academie perceive science, philosophy and the empirical in a way
> alien to
> the Anglo-American? I should emphasize that this is a dis-ease, because
> again, when I re-read these passages, I am absolutely clear on what he is
> getting at. I am only concerned that there is a difference in emphasis, one
> which I am hoping someone here might clear up.

It may be that the difference of emphasis is not so much cultural as
historical: the attempt to separate the scientific from the philosophical
only dates from the nineteenth century, which is when the *term* "science"
first came to be used to describe the enterprise of understanding the
physical world through mathematics and experimentation. Until that time,
such an enterprise was known as "natural philosophy," not science, and it
was an attempt to arrive at a philosophy of nature. Its affiliations
with philosophy were evident in the way that natural philsophers such as
Newton saw their empirical investigations as part of a much larger
philosophical purpose, and Foucault is accurate in equating science with
philosophy when discussing the history of science.



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