Skip navigation
Hardcover | $42.95 Trade | £29.95 | ISBN: 9780942299724 | 482 pp. | 6 x 9 in | January 1994
Paperback | $28.95 Trade | £19.95 | ISBN: 9780942299731 | 482 pp. | 6 x 9 in | March 2000

A Vital Rationalist

Selected Writings from Georges Canguilhem
Introduction by Paul Rabinow
Translated by Arthur Goldhammer


Georges Canguilhem (1904-1995) was one of France's foremost historians of science. Trained as a medical doctor as well as a philosopher, he combined these practices to demonstrate to philosophers that there could be no epistemology without concrete study of the actual development of the sciences and to historians that there could be no worthwhile history of science without a philosophical understanding of the conceptual basis of all knowledge. A Vital Rationalist brings together for the first time a selection of Canguilhem's most important writings, including excerpts from previously unpublished manuscripts and a critical biography by Camille Limoges.

About the Author

Georges Canguilhem is Professor Emeritus at the Sorbonne and former director of the Institut d'Histoire des Sciences et des Techniques de l'Université de Paris. His works include La Connaissance de la Vie, Ideology and Rationality in the History of the Life Sciences, and The Normal and the Pathological.

About the Editor

François Delaporte is a Research Associate at the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Medicale in Paris. He is the author of Disease and Civilization and The History of Yellow Fever.