A Contribution to the Pasteur-Pouchet Controversy
Pouchet as a philosopher and historian of the natural sciences
Building upon Raynaud’s analysis of the controversy between Pasteur and Pouchet over spontaneous generation, I single out the philosophical and historical reasons which led Pouchet to defend the idea that life can appear in the absence of parents. In particular, I retrace the theological arguments used by Pouchet for showing that spontaneous generation copes with the Christian doctrine. Then, I provide an outline of Pouchet’s interpretation of the development of natural sciences in the Middle Ages. Finally, I argue that Pouchet’s endorsement to spontaneous generation was determined by his looking upon Albert the Great’s philosophical and scientific heritage as a combination of both theological orthodoxy and experimental attitude, a mix that satisfies the metaphysical and epistemological tenets of Pouchet’s philosophy of the natural sciences.
Published articles remain under the Publisher’s copyright for five years, that is © Edizioni ETS
Five years after publication, the article is released under a CC BY SA 4.0 license and kept on the journal website. All rights revert to the author.