Science in History

Why Ernest Coumet [did not] Free us from Alexandre Koyré’s Heritage


  • Hallhane Machado Federal University of Goiás



Alexandre Koyré, Scientific Revolution, Conception of History, Ernest Coumet, German Theory of History


In 1987, Ernest Coumet highlighted the presence of a “scientific revolution” in Alexandre Koyré’s works. When and where did the destruction of the Cosmos and the geometrization of space materialize in the authors she studied? In what work do we find the “revolution” for which Koyré is so well known? From unknown texts, at least in 1987, Coumet pointed out concordances between Koyré’s philosophy of historical knowledge and that of Raymond Aron – of Weberian inspiration – affirming Koyré’s famous concept of Scientific Revolution as “ideal type”. Which means to say that, in the works of the author of From the Closed World to the Infinite Universe, “revolution” is not a historical reality, but an interpretative horizon. However, a letter from Koyré to Aron discovered by us in the archives of this author, deposited in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, shows us the unsustainability of Coumet’s hypothesis. Nevertheless, it seems to us that the great lesson of his singular hypothesis remains, that of the importance of not neglecting the conception of the history of those who focus on the past of the sciences.


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How to Cite

Machado, Hallhane. 2020. “Science in History: Why Ernest Coumet [did Not] Free Us from Alexandre Koyré’s Heritage”. Transversal: International Journal for the Historiography of Science, no. 8 (June).