Preformation and pre-existence in the seventeenth century: A brief analysis

  title={Preformation and pre-existence in the seventeenth century: A brief analysis},
  author={Peter J. Bowler},
  journal={Journal of the History of Biology},
  • P. Bowler
  • Published 1971
  • History
  • Journal of the History of Biology
ConclusionIt is beyond the scope of this paper to describe in detail the rise to popularity of the emboîtement theories during the last decades of the seventeenth century.51 Eventually the theories did gain great influence, but some points emerging from the above discussion indicate that the rise to popularity was not, perhaps, quite as rapid as has sometimes been assumed.52 Although the earlier preformation theories were sometimes regarded as the ancestors of the later ideas,53 there was… 

Theorizing epigenesis in a time of preexistence: From the end of the seventeenth century to the 1720s

  • A. Ferraro
  • History
    History and philosophy of the life sciences
  • 2016
A series of French medical treatises and clandestine manuscripts that outlined a mechanist theory of epigenesis, between the end of the seventeenth century and the 1720s, are examined to bring to light the strategies—often quite original—that allowed them to achieve this result.

Supernaturalism, Occasionalism, and Preformation in Malebranche

Malebranche is both an occasionalist and an advocate of the preformationist theory of generation. One might expect this given that he is a mechanist: passive matter cannot be the source of its own

Mechanical and “Organical” Models in Seventeenth-Century Explanations of Biological Reproduction

  • D. Fouke
  • Philosophy
    Science in Context
  • 1989
The Argument The claim that Jan Swammerdam's empirical research did not support his theory of biological preformation is shown to rest on a notion of evidence narrower than that used by many

Die Embryologie im Spannungsfeld zwischen Tradition und Empirie

Already in classical antiquity people dealt with the principle of formation, developing different theories, but in the renaissance the tension between experience and tradition shifted in favour of experience, but a final solution had not by any means been reached.

The organism as reality or as fiction: Buffon and beyond

The case of Buffon is presented, who developed complex views about the relation between the notions of “organised” and “organic” matter, and it is argued that, contrary to what some interpreters have suggested, these notions are not orthogonal in his thought.

The First Brazilian Thesis of Evolution: Haeckel's Recapitulation Theory and Its Relations with the Idea of Progress.

The author's text, in which he explicitly recognized the influence of Ernst Haeckel's recapitulation theory, represents a window to understand better a concept of nation based on science and on the idea of inexorable progress that was accepted in Brazil at the end of the nineteenth century.

The Evolution Concept: The Concept Evolution

This is an epistemologically-driven history of the concept of evolution. Starting from its inception, this work will follow the development of this pregnant concept. However, in contradistinction to

The reception of Leibniz's philosophy in the writings of Charles Bonnet (1720–1793)

  • O. Rieppel
  • Philosophy
    Journal of the history of biology
  • 1988
Charles Bonnet of Geneva, "natural philosopher" as he liked to call himself, is considered one of the fathers of modern biology in view of the stringent experimental approach that he proposed and

Leibniz, the microscope and the concept of preformation

It is argued that important aspects of Leibniz’s metaphysics have been strongly affected by the empirical observation of the “invisible world” which the microscope made possible.

Embryonic Individuals: The Rhetoric of Seventeenth-Century Embryology and the Construction of Early-Modern Identity

Some time in 1672, Theodore Kerckring conducted an autopsy of a woman who had died three or four days after her period. On opening her uterus, Kerckring found "a little round mass the bigness of a