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Professor Cristina Chimisso

Cristina Chimisso photo

Profile summary

Professional biography

Cristina Chimisso (PhD, Cambridge) joined the Open University in July 2000. Previously she lectured at the University of Aberdeen, was George and May Sarton fellow at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (Cambridge, Mass.), research fellow at the Department of History of Science, Harvard University, and Walter Rathenau fellow at the Max Planck Institute for History of Science (Berlin).

She was Head of the Philosophy Department from 2009 to 2013; and a member of the OU Senate 2015-2018.

She is the author of the monographs Hélène Metzger: historian and historiographer of the sciences, Routledge 2019; Writing the History of the Mind: Philosophy and Science in France 1900-1960s (Ashgate 2008), written with the support of an AHRC grant, and Gaston Bachelard: Critic of Science and the Imagination (Routledge 2001).

She was a member of the management committee of the British Society for the History of Philosophy for sixteen years (2001-2012; 2012-2020) and was BSHP’s secretary from 2002 to 2008; she is on editorial Board of the British Journal for the History of Philosophy; she was on the executive committee of the British Philosophical Association ( 2014-2019) and member of the Steering Committee of the History of Philosophy of Science Society (HOPOS) (2016-2019)

From 2008-2013, she was also part of the research networking programme ‘Philosophy of Science in a European perspective’, funded by the European Science Foundation; in Spring 2019 she was a Senior visiting fellow at the University of Milan. 


Research interests

Her research interests are in twentieth-century history of philosophy, historiography, philosophy of science and sociology of knowledge.

For her publications, see the 'publications' tab, and ResearchGate. 

Teaching interests

Her teaching has ranged from history of modern philosophy, Continental philosophy, historiography, epistemology and philosophy of science, to history of science (including history of psychology and psychoanalysis) and nineteenth and twentieth century cultural history.

At the Open University, her teaching has been mainly in the areas of epistemology, Continental philosophy, political philosophy and European studies.



Hélène Metzger on Precursors: A Historian and Philosopher of Science Confronts Her Evil Demon (2021)
Chimisso, Cristina and Jardine, Nicholas
HOPOS: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science, 11(2) ((Early access))

Narrative and epistemology: Georges Canguilhem’s concept of scientific ideology (2015-12-31)
Chimisso, Cristina
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A, 54 (pp. 64-73)

Fleeing dictatorship: socialism, sexuality and the history of science in the life of Aldo Mieli (2011-10)
Chimisso, Cristina
History Workshop Journal, 72(1) (pp. 30-51)

From phenomenology to phenomenotechnique: the role of early twentieth-century physics in Gaston Bachelard’s philosophy (2008-09)
Chimisso, Cristina
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A, 39(3) (pp. 384-392)

The identity and routes of philosophy of science (2006)
Chimisso, Cristina
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A, 37(2) (pp. 353-360)

Constructing narratives and reading texts: Approaches to history and power struggles between philosophy and emergent disciplines in inter-war France (2005-08)
Chimisso, Cristina
History of the Human Sciences, 18(3) (pp. 83-107)

Bachelard and the History of the Mind (2005)
Chimisso, Cristina
PLI The Warwick Journal of Philosophy, 16 (pp. 171-185)

The tribunal of philosophy and its norms: History and philosophy in Georges Canguilhem's historical epistemology (2003-06)
Chimisso, Cristina
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 34(2) (pp. 297-327)

A Mind of her Own: Helene Metzger to Emile Meyerson, 1933 (2003)
Chimisso, Cristina and Freudenthal, Gad
Isis, 94(3) (pp. 477-491)

Helene Metzger: The history of science between the study of mentalities and total history (2001-06)
Chimisso, Cristina
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A, 32(2) (pp. 203-241)

The mind and the faculties: the controversy over 'primitive mentality' and the struggle for disciplinary space at the interwar Sorbonne (2000-08)
Chimisso, Cristina
History of the Human Sciences, 13(3) (pp. 47-68)

Hélène Metzger, Historian and Historiographer of the Sciences (2019-12-05)
Chimisso, Cristina
Science, Technology and Culture, 1700-1945
ISBN : 9781138210394 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon

Writing the History of the Mind: Philosophy and Science in France, 1900 to 1960s (2008)
Chimisso, Cristina
Science, Technology and Culture 1700-1945
ISBN : 9780754657057 | Publisher : Ashgate | Published : Aldershot

Gaston Bachelard: critic of science and the imagination (2001-06-28)
Chimisso, Cristina
Routledge Studies in Twentieth-Century Philosophy
ISBN : 415269059 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : London and New York

L’oggetto impuro dell’epistemologia storica di Georges Canguilhem (2019)
Chimisso, Cristina
In: Lupi, Fiorenza and Pilotto, Stefano eds. Infrangere le norme: vita, scienza e tecnica nel pensiero di Georges Canguilhem (pp. 11-29)
ISBN : 9788857553672 | Publisher : Mimesis | Published : Milan

Voyage vers le matérialisme : François Dagognet et l’évolution de l’épistémologie historique [A journey towards materialism: François Dagognet and the evolution of historical epistemology] (2019)
Chimisso, Cristina
In: Bensaude-Vincent, Bernadette; Braunstein, Jean-François and Gayon, Jean eds. François Dagognet : Philosophe, épistémologue (pp. 25-35)
ISBN : 978-2-37361-194--6 | Publisher : Éditions Materiologiques

Gaston Bachelard's Places of the Imagination and Images of Space (2017-03-30)
Chimisso, Cristina
In: Janz, Bruce B. ed. Place, Space and Hermeneutics (pp. 183-195)
ISBN : 978-3-319-52214-2 | Publisher : Springer

Commentary on Anastasios Brenner's 'Epistemology Historicized' (2014)
Chimisso, Cristina
In: Galavotti, Maria Carla; Dieks, Dennis; Gonzalez, Wenceslao J.; Hartmann, Stephan; Uebel, Thomas and Weber, Marcel eds. New Directions in the Philosophy of Science. Philosophy of Science in a European Perspective (5) (pp. 737-746)
ISBN : 978-3-319-04381-4 | Publisher : Springer

The life sciences and French philosophy of science: Georges Canguilhem on norms (2013-06-30)
Chimisso, Cristina
In: Andersen, H.; Dieks, D.; Gonzalez, W. J.; Uebel, T. and Wheeler, G. eds. New Challenges to Philosophy of Science. The Philosophy of Science in a European Perspective (pp. 399-409)
ISBN : 978-94-007-5844-5 | Publisher : Springer | Published : Dordrecht

Gaston Bachelard e le lezioni filosofiche della chimica (2013-01-17)
Chimisso, Cristina
In: Bonicalzi, Francesca; Mottana, Paolo; Vinti, Carlo and Wunenburger, Jean-Jacques eds. Bachelard e la ‘provocazioni’ della materia (pp. 93-104)
ISBN : 978-88-7018-877-6 | Publisher : Il Nuovo Melangolo | Published : Genova

A matter of substance? Gaston Bachelard on chemistry's philosophical lessons (2013)
Chimisso, Cristina
In: Galavotti, Maria Carla; Nemeth, Elisabeth and Stadler, Friederich eds. European Philosophy of Science - Philosophy of Science in Europe and the Viennese Heritage. Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook (pp. 33-44)
ISBN : 978-3-319-01898-0 | Publisher : Springer

Aspects of current history of philosophy of science in the French tradition (2010)
Chimisso, Cristina
In: Stadler, Friedrich ed. The Present Situation in the Philosophy of Science (pp. 41-56)
ISBN : 978-90-481-9114-7 | Publisher : Springer | Published : Dordrecht

La ragione scientifica e la pedagogia nel Lautréamont di Bachelard (2004)
Chimisso, Cristina
In: Vinti, Carlo and Bonicalzi, Francesca eds. Ri-cominciare: Percorsi e attualità dell’opera di Gaston Bachelard. Di fronte e attraverso , filosofia (pp. 111-122)
ISBN : 978-88-16-40681-0 | Publisher : Jaka Books | Published : Milan, Italy

Bachelard, Gaston (1884-1962) (2016-08-01)
Chimisso, Cristina
John Wiley & Sons, Ltd