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Le fossile, précepteur de l'épistémologie de la paléontologie : pour une historiographie du vivant

Abstract : The fossil is the essential seat of the knowledge of the past living beings and consequently of that of the present. It is epistemologically a-phenomenal, non-experimental, incomplete and historical. This epistemological nature causes important constraints in the way of making the history of the living beings for the paleontologist : the historiography of the living. How does the fossil as a natural object and its epistemological nature constrain the epistemological process of paleontology and ultimately the historiography of life ? The first part of this work aims to trace the history of the fossil object itself through the vagaries of its definitions from antiquity to today. I show that the fossil we know today, that is to say, a mineral object whose origin is organic and which has a historicity, is the result of its rejection, at the very end of the 18th century, of mineralogical systems by the mineralogists themselves. The fossil passes in some way from the mineral world to the living world. From this acquired biological status, the second part of my work try to shed light on the historiographical device that palaeontology develops. So, I propose a structure of how do we write history? in three stages. The first shows the epistemological role of perception in the acquisition of fundamental data in paleontology: perception of the form and historicity of geological objects. The second moment of the fossil is that of paleontological facts, where the recognition of the living, the dating of the archives and their location intertwine. Finally, the third moment is that of the questioning of paleontological facts and their epistemological transformation into paleontological events, stages necessary for the rewriting of the history of life.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/tel-01971994
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Submitted on : Monday, January 7, 2019 - 2:26:04 PM
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Alex Lena. Le fossile, précepteur de l'épistémologie de la paléontologie : pour une historiographie du vivant. Histoire, Philosophie et Sociologie des sciences. Université de Lyon - Université Claude Bernard Lyon1, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : ⟩. ⟨tel-01971994⟩

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