A Vital Rationalist

A Vital Rationalist

Selected Writings from Georges Canguilhem

By Georges Canguilhem

Edited by François Delaporte

Translated by Arthur Goldhammer

Introduction by Paul Rabinow

Distributed for Zone Books

Hardcover $28.95 S £25.00
Paperback $28.95 T £25.00




Georges Canguilhem is 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together for the first time a selection of Canguilhem's most important writings, including excerpts from previously unpublished manuscripts and a critical bibliography by Camille Limoges. Organized around the major themes and problems that have preoccupied Canguilhem throughout his intellectual career, the collection allows readers, whether familiar or unfamiliar with Canguilhem's work, access to a vast array of conceptual and concrete meditations on epistemology, methodology, science, and history. Canguilhem is a demanding writer, but Delaporte succeeds in marking out the main lines of his thought with unrivaled clarity; readers will come away with a heightened understanding of the complex and crucial place he holds in French intellectual history.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780942299724 488 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


$28.95 T | £25.00 ISBN: 9780942299731 488 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


François Delaporte

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.


Arthur Goldhammer and Paul Rabinow.