Neither logical empiricism nor vitalism, but organicism: what the philosophy of biology was

  title={Neither logical empiricism nor vitalism, but organicism: what the philosophy of biology was},
  author={Daniel J. Nicholson and Richard Gawne},
  journal={History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences},
Philosophy of biology is often said to have emerged in the last third of the twentieth century. Prior to this time, it has been alleged that the only authors who engaged philosophically with the life sciences were either logical empiricists who sought to impose the explanatory ideals of the physical sciences onto biology, or vitalists who invoked mystical agencies in an attempt to ward off the threat of physicochemical reduction. These schools paid little attention to actual biological science… 

An Epistemology of Scientific Practice: Positioning Hans‐Jörg Rheinberger in Twentieth‐Century History and Philosophy of Biology **

In this article, I first outline the professionalization of the history and philosophy of biology from the 1960s onward. Then, I attempt to situate the work of Hans‐Jörg Rheinberger with respect to

A non-metaphysical evaluation of vitalism in the early twentieth century

  • Bohang Chen
  • Philosophy
    History and philosophy of the life sciences
  • 2018
In biology the term “vitalism” is usually associated with Hans Driesch’s doctrine of the entelechy: entelechies were nonmaterial, bio-specific agents responsible for governing a few peculiar biological phenomena, but in the early twentieth century, a different, non-metaphysical evaluation of vitalism was endorsed by some biologists and philosophers, which finally led to a logical refutation of the doctrine.

The Metaphysics of Biology

This Element is an introduction to the metaphysics of biology, a very general account of the nature of the living world. The first part of the Element addresses more traditionally philosophical

Causality, Natural Systems, and Hegel’s Organicism

Hegel’s holism or ‘organicism’ pertains to biology and to philosophy of biology, but how and why so remain obscure until basic features of Hegel’s epistemology and philosophy of nature are properly

The Organismal Synthesis: Holistic Science and Developmental Evolution in the English-Speaking World, 1915–1954

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Revisiting George Gaylord Simpson’s “The Role of the Individual in Evolution” (1941)

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  • Biology
    Journal of the history of biology
  • 2018
This paper shows that the recent return to the concept of the organism, especially in the so-called “Extended Evolutionary Synthesis,” is challenged by similar anti-individualistic tendencies.

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  • Philosophy
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  • 2018
In a series of articles and books published in the 1970s, David Hull (1935–2010) and Michael Ruse (1940–) proposed interpretations of the relation between nineteenth-century British philosophy of

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The immutability of philosophical thought meets the changefulness of the science of biology in that difficult region, which is yet so attractive, the abstract aspects of the study of living things.

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  • T. G.
  • Philosophy
  • 1936
THIS little monograph may be considered almost as the philosophical testament of a distinguished biologist. In it he gives his ultimate conclusions based on a lifetime of eminent achievements in the

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  • Philosophy
    Philosophy of Science
  • 1969
No other branch of the philosophy of science is as backward as the philosophy of biology. When physicists or philosophers "explain biology," they not only tend to use wrong terminologies but they

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Periodically through the history of biology, biologists have tried to do a little philosophy and occasionally a philosopher has turned his attention to biology. In the past decade or so a body of

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  • S. GilbertS. Sarkar
  • Art
    Developmental dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists
  • 2000
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  • Philosophy
    The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
  • 2007
A consensus exists among contemporary philosophers of biology about the history of their field. According to the received view, mainstream philosophy of science in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s focused on

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