, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 51–54 | Cite as

Gaston Bachelard as a surrationalist

Zbigniew Kotowicz: Gaston Bachelard: A Philosophy of the Surreal. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016, 212pp, £70 HB
  • Sandra Pravica
Book Review

Zbigniew Kotowicz’s book Gaston Bachelard: A Philosophy of the Surreal deals with the French philosopher’s writings as a “whole”. Both “parts” of Bachelard’s work—the epistemological discourse on scientific concepts and the renewal of scientific rationality through the physics of the 1920s and 1930s as well as the poetological that concerns the dynamic of the imagination and literary images—are intensively and thoroughly treated. With this holistic approach, Kotowicz’s book invites comparison to Cristina Chimisso’s (2001) publication Gaston Bachelard: Critic of Science and the Imagination. But in contrast to Chimisso’s book, which primarily seeks to provide a social, cultural and historical context to Bachelard’s thinking, Kotowicz’s study promises a more “philosophical engagement with Bachelard’s thought” (9).

The common thread that runs through the disparate themes of Bachelard’s oeuvre is, according to the author, surrealism. He posits that the overcoming of reality serves as the...


  1. Bachelard, Gaston. 1934. Le Nouvel Esprit Scientifique. Paris: PUF.Google Scholar
  2. Chimisso, Cristina. 2001. Gaston Bachelard: Critic of Science and the Imagination. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Pravica, Sandra. 2015. Bachelards tentative Wissenschaftsphilosophie. Vienna: Passagen.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Karlsruhe University of Arts and DesignBerlinGermany

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