Vitalism and the Scientific Image in Post-Enlightenment Life Science, 1800-2010 (History, Philosophy and Theory of the Life Sciences)

Vitalism and the Scientific Image in Post-Enlightenment Life Science, 1800-2010 (History, Philosophy and Theory of the Life Sciences)

Charles T. Wolfe

Language: English

Pages: 377

ISBN: B00DEX9R1S

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Vitalism and the Scientific Image in Post-Enlightenment Life Science, 1800-2010 (History, Philosophy and Theory of the Life Sciences)

Charles T. Wolfe

Language: English

Pages: 377

ISBN: B00DEX9R1S

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Vitalism is understood as impacting the history of the life sciences, medicine and philosophy, representing an epistemological challenge to the dominance of mechanism over the last 200 years, and partly revived with organicism in early theoretical biology. The contributions in this volume portray the history of vitalism from the end of the Enlightenment to the modern day, suggesting some reassessment of what it means both historically and conceptually. As such it includes a wide range of material, employing both historical and philosophical methodologies, and it is divided fairly evenly between 19th and 20th century historical treatments and more contemporary analysis. This volume presents a significant contribution to the current literature in the history and philosophy of science and the history of medicine.

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selfish individuals (Roughgarden 2009). Shared interests can lead to highly cooperative ‘team’ behaviour, described by Joan Roughgarden as ‘cooperative teamwork’ (2009, 13). Evolutionary payoffs for such team members may not be equal, but are distributed across the whole team. Collaboration, however, may also include the ‘mere’ coincidence of individual interests, and it is often in the interest of any individual to collaborate – at least to some extent. Collaboration from this point of view

cellular machinery (Thiessen and Martin 2006; Cavalier-Smith and Lee 1985). This loss of genetic autonomy is not total, however, because plastids and mitochondria retain genes for translation and transcription machinery as well as metabolic function. They divide and grow independently of the cell cycle, although mitochondria gain some division assistance from the host cell (Osteryoung and Nunnari 2003). As well as inheriting their membranes directly, both organelles inherit their own

cf. Bechtel and Abrahamsen 2005.) Below I will argue that the basic account of mechanistic explanation must be enriched in important respects to handle the vitalist’s challenge. But for now it is important to note that it fits well the main threads in mechanistic science that I highlighted in Sect. 1. Two major accomplishments of these mechanistic sciences were (1) to identify the parts of organisms, such as the parts of cells and the various types of molecules out of which they are composed,

Dordrecht 2013 4. The “Novel of Medicine” Juan Rigoli1   (1)Département de langue et de littérature françaises modernes, Université de Genève, 5, rue De-Candolle, 1211 Genève 4, Switzerland Juan Rigoli Email: Juan.Rigoli@unige.ch Abstract In early nineteenth-century France, as physiology became a conquering science which laid claim to exclusively describing the entirety of the human experience, it sought to denounce what people had seen in it and what it insisted it no longer was: the

Dunbar Broad. In Space, Time, and Deity (1920), Samuel Alexander envisions a theory of emergent evolution that accounts for the dynamic appearance of complex entities, of new types of structures that would thereby engender higher levels of organization and exhibit properties that would be novel when compared to the properties of their constituents. He borrows the term “emergent” from Lewes and puts it into a cosmological evolutionary context with a view to describing as “emergent qualities” the

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