L’histoire en chair et en os: La gestion des risques de la biographie

Translated title of the contribution: History in Flesh and Blood: Managing the Risks of Biography

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Noam Chomsky is typical of scientists who believe that the life history of people in their field has nothing to add to our understanding of their work and ideas. Starting from statements Chomsky has made to this effect, this chapter gives counter-evidence from the life and work of the linguist Ferdinand de Saussure, the philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty and others. Due recognition is however given to various risks the scientific biographer faces, starting from the fact that, in order to bring the subject of the biography to life, one has to risk filling in certain lacunae that an historical account would leave empty. But the risk is worth running, given the level of insight that a good biography can bring to our understanding of why scientific ideas have taken the precise form they have.
Translated title of the contributionHistory in Flesh and Blood: Managing the Risks of Biography
Original languageFrench
Title of host publicationEntre Vie et Théorie
Subtitle of host publicationLa Biographie des Linguistes dans l’Histoire des Sciences du Langage
EditorsValentina Bisconti , Cécile Mathieu
Place of PublicationLimoges
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Apr 2017


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  • Entre vie et théorie

    John E. Joseph (Keynote/plenary speaker)

    4 Dec 20155 Dec 2015

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

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