Georges Canguilhem: A Vital Rationalist: Selected Writings (1994)

5 March 2015, dusan

“Georges Canguilhem is one of France’s leading philosophers and historians of science. Trained as both a medical doctor and a philosopher, Canguilhem overlapped these practices to demonstrate that there could be no epistemology without concrete study of the actual development of the sciences and no worthwhile history of science without a philosophical understanding of the conceptual basis of all knowledge.

A Vital Rationalist brings together some of Canguilhem’s most important writings, including excerpts from previously unpublished manuscripts. Organized around the major themes and problems that have preoccupied Canguilhem throughout his intellectual career, this collection allows readers both familiar and unfamiliar with Canguilhem’s work access to a vast array of conceptual and concrete meditations on epistemology, methodology, science, and history. Although Canguilhem is a demanding writer, Delaporte succeeds in identifying the main lines of his thought with unrivaled clarity and maps out the complex and crucial place this thinker holds in the history of twentieth-century French thought.”

Edited by François Delaporte
Translated by Arthur Goldhammer
Introduction by Paul Rabinow
Critical bibliography by Camille Limoges
Publisher Zone Books, New York, 1994
This edition, 2000
ISBN 9780942299731
481 pages

Reviews: Levin (The Journal of the American Medical Association, 1994), Keller (Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 1996), Sutton (The British Journal for the History of Science, 1997).


PDF (7 MB)

Rudolf Arnheim: Art and Visual Perception (1954–) [EN, RU, PL, RO, ES, BR-PT]

12 May 2014, dusan

“Since its publication in 1954, this work has established itself as a classic. It casts the visual process in psychological terms and describes the creative way one’s eye organizes visual material according to specific psychological premises. In 1974 this book was revised and expanded, and since then it has continued to burnish Rudolf Arnheim’s reputation as a groundbreaking theoretician in the fields of art and psychology.”

Publisher University of California Press, 1954
Expanded and revised edition, 1974
ISBN 0520243838
508 pages

Interview with the author (Uta Grundmann, Cabinet, 2001)

Publisher (EN)

Art and Visual Perception (English, 1954/1974, 26 MB)
Iskusstvo i vizualnoe vospriyatie (Russian, trans. V.N. Samokhin, 1974/2000, DJVU, no OCR)
Sztuka i percepcja wzrokowa (Polish, trans. Jolanta Mach, 1978, 24 MB, no OCR, via nuitienne)
Arta si perceptia vizuala (Romanian, trans. Florin Ionescu, 1979, 35 MB, no OCR, via)
Arte y percepción visual (Spanish, trans. María Luisa Balseiro, 1979/2002, 30 MB, no OCR, via)
Arte e percepção visual (Brazilian Portuguese, trans. Ivonne Terezinha de Faria, 1980/2005)

Michel Meulders: Helmholtz: From Enlightenment to Neuroscience (2001/2010)

26 April 2013, dusan

“Although Hermann von Helmholtz was one of most remarkable figures of nineteenth-century science, he is little known outside his native Germany. Helmholtz (1821-1894) made significant contributions to the study of vision and perception and was also influential in the painting, music, and literature of the time; one of his major works analyzed tone in music. This book, the first in English to describe Helmholtz’s life and work in detail, describes his scientific studies, analyzes them in the context of the science and philosophy of the period—in particular the German Naturphilosophie—and gauges his influence on today’s neuroscience.

Helmholtz, trained by Johannes Müller, one of the best physiologists of his time, used a resolutely materialistic and empirical scientific method in his research. This puts him in the tradition of Kant and the English empirical philosophers and directly opposed to the idealists and naturalists who interpreted nature based on metaphysical presuppositions. Helmholtz’s research on color vision put him at odds with Goethe’s more romantic theorizing on the subject; but at the end of his life, Helmholtz honored Goethe’s contributions, acknowledging that artistic intuition could reveal truths about the human mind that are inaccessible to science.

Helmholtz’s work, eclipsed at the beginning of the twentieth century by new ideas in neurophysiology, has recently been rediscovered. We can now recognize in Helmholtz’s methods–which were based on his belief in the interconnectedness of physiology and psychology–the origins of neuroscience.”

Originally published as Helmholtz: Des lumières aux neurosciences, Odile Jacob, Paris, 2001

Translated and edited by Laurence Garey
Publisher MIT Press, 2010
ISBN 0262014483, 9780262014489
235 pages


PDF, PDF (updated on 2018-8-5)