Homage to Koyré: Space as Paradigmatic Example of “The Unity of Human Thought”



My point is to demonstrate that Koyré’s work can be synthesised through the notion of space and that Koyré’s interest for this notion still has a great value for historians and philosophers of science. Actually, Koyré’s analysis shows us that space is perhaps the most efficient concept to use when examining mutations of thought. What is at stake with space? Space is the place where historians can find an expression of the “unity of human thought”. Space is then the centre of gravity of the epistemological commitments of many scientists but not only scientific commitments. “The unity of human thought” is to Koyré, a complex network of trans-scientific ideas such as philosophical, metaphysical and also religious ones. Moreover, my homage to Koyré consists of using his methodological principles in order to shed light upon André-Marie Ampère’s scientific practices. In my opinion, these practices imply the same kind of unity of trans-scientific ideas as those studied by Koyré.


Classification Experiment Geometrisation History of science Indefinite Infinity Metaphysics Mistake Natural place Naturphilosophie Noumena Phenomena Qualitative Quantitative Revolution Space Trans-scientific Unity of human thought Unthought 



I would like to thank Kaitlin King, Katharine Linek and anonymous referees for helpful comments and corrections on earlier drafts of this paper.


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Archives Henri Poincaré–CNRSLorraine UniversityNancyFrance

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