Epistemological rupture  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Epistemological rupture, or epistemological break, is an influential notion introduced by French philosopher Gaston Bachelard, and later used by Louis Althusser. He proposed that the history of science is replete with "epistemological obstacles"--or unthought/unconscious structures that were immanent within the realm of the sciences, such as principles of division (e.g., mind/body). The history of science, Bachelard asserted, consisted in the formation and establishment of these epistemological obstacles, and then the subsequent tearing down of the obstacles. This latter stage is an epistemological rupture—where an unconscious obstacle to scientific thought is thoroughly ruptured or broken away from.

Epistemology, from the Greek words episteme (knowledge) and logos (word/speech) is the branch of philosophy that deals with the nature, origin and scope of knowledge. Rupture, from Old French rupture or Latin ruptura is defined as an instance of breaking or bursting suddenly and completely, as well as a breach of a harmonious link in a figurative way.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Epistemological rupture" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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