The science of failure
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In this thesis I investigate Henri Poincaré’s The Value of Science, which Samuel Beckett read in the 1930s, and argue its importance in Beckett’s early novels. By looking closely at The Value of Science, I show a few philosophical arguments that influenced Beckett’s thoughts on science and scientific language. I then turn to the novel Murphy, arguing that Beckett moves beyond interpolation and integrates a number of Poincaré’s ideas into the text. Finally, I examine Watt, exploring in particular the influence of Poincaré’s conventional epistemology.