Koyré, Alexandre (1882–1964) By Guédon, Cécile
Born Alexandr Vladimirovich Koyranskiy (Александр Владимирович Койранский) in Taganrog, Russia, Alexandre Koyré moved to Paris, France, as a student where he was active, with varying degrees of involvement, as a professor at the École pratique des hautes études from 1922 until his death. He was appointed to the position of chair of the Department of History of Religious Thought in Modern Europe in 1932 and also taught at the Johns Hopkins University and the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study. Renowned for establishing the discipline of the history of science as it is known today, Koyré questioned in particular the value of scientific experimentation, arguing that such experimentation merely validated the presumptions previously intuited by subjective means. Koyré’s contribution to the field of philosophy of science is generally understood as an original weaving of specific, dynamic changes in religious beliefs and commitments and metaphysical views into his account of the discovery process. Thus, as Koyré suggested in From the Closed World to the Infinite Universe (1957), a thorough study of modern science should be firmly grounded in the history of religion and metaphysics.