Put to the Test: Canguilhem’s Biological Philosophy and a New Concept of Error

  • Samuel TalcottEmail author


This chapter draws together preceding conclusions to show the central significance of error for Canguilhem’s biological philosophy. Examining an unpublished 1955–1956 lecture course clarifies how it addressed error as a philosophical and social-political problem by studying the history of biological sciences. Because this philosophy depends on his understanding of technical and artistic creation, I exemplify this before examining imagination’s role in human life as a vital response to monstrous alteration that makes both artistic and scientific activity possible. Yet in banishing monsters as imaginary, positivist science becomes monstrous itself. There is no escaping such alterations. I conclude, therefore, by considering his biological philosophy’s spirit and ability to endure the alteration that threatened it when Canguilhem finally recognized error as a scientific concept.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HumanitiesUniversity of the SciencesPhiladelphiaUSA

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