Bachelard, Cassirer and Early Interdisciplinary Humanities

Maria-Ana Tupan

Prof. Dr. Habil., Philology, Doctoral School, Department of Philology and History, Alba Iulia University, Alba Iulia, Romania. Email:

Volume 8, Number 4, 2016 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v8n4.03

Received November 19, 2016; Revised December 15, 2016; Accepted December 30, 2016; Published January 14, 2017


Interdisciplinarity is “the ideal entry point into one of today’s most heated critical debates” reads the back blurb of the book published by Joe Moran at the beginning of the twenty-first century (Routledge, 2002). How old was actually the “New Critical Idiom” in the philosophy of cultural representation is the question the present paper is trying to answer.  We are travelling back in time to the point where aesthetics, poetics or art theory extended to include domains that Immanuel Kant had placed on the other side of the disciplinary divide: physics, algebra, geometry. The rise of a meta theory for disciplinary interfaces is related to the writings of Gaston Bachelard and Ernst Cassirer, who were sensitive to radical shifts in contemporary thought: the former responded to the rise of postformal thought (the logique du contradictoire, or polyvalent logic, informing the quantum superposition of states), while the latter took over from Felix Klein’s invariant theory the model of a unified frame for symbolic representation which rendered possible correlations across disciplinary fields and the coming together of the multiple languages of mythology, religion, science and art.

Keywords:  Interdisciplinarity, the New Critical Idiom, cultural representation, disciplinary reconfiguration, postformal thought.

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