The Protoplasmic Theory of Life and the Vitalist-Mechanist Debate

@article{Geison1969ThePT,
  title={The Protoplasmic Theory of Life and the Vitalist-Mechanist Debate},
  author={Gerald L. Geison},
  journal={Isis},
  year={1969},
  volume={60},
  pages={273 - 292}
}
  • G. Geison
  • Published 1 October 1969
  • Linguistics
  • Isis
TN A LECTURE delivered in 1868 the English biologist Thomas Henry Huxley 1(1825-1895) excited popular imagination by suggesting that a nitrogenous, semifluid substance, called protoplasm, was the "physical basis of life."' The notion was captivating. The basic attributes of life, Huxley insisted, are displayed by a sort of homogeneous ground substance which is common to both plants and animals and which should therefore be regarded as the most compelling evidence for the basic unity of all… 

The Cell and Protoplasm as Container, Object, and Substance, 1835–1861

  • Daniel Liu
  • Biology
    Journal of the history of biology
  • 2017
It is drawn on Lakoff and Johnson’s theory of “ontological metaphors” to show that the cell, primordial utricle, and protoplasm can be understood as material container, object, and substance, and that these overlapping distinctions help explain the chaotic and confusing early history of cell theory.

Amoebae as Exemplary Cells: The Protean Nature of an Elementary Organism

  • A. Reynolds
  • Biology
    Journal of the history of biology
  • 2008
The amoeba became the exemplar of the new protoplasmic cell concept of mid-century and because its apparent simplicity made it widely generalizable it became a popular subject in a breadth of experimental investigations and theoretical speculations.

T.H. Huxley's Criticism of German Cell Theory: An Epigenetic and Physiological Interpretation of Cell Structure

  • M. Richmond
  • Biology
    Journal of the history of biology
  • 2000
“The Cell-theory” presents Huxley’s “epigenetic” interpretation of histological organization emerging from changes in the protoplasm to replace the “preformationist” cell theory of Schleiden and Schwann (as modified by Albert vonKölliker), which posited the nucleus as the seat of organic vitality.

Der Stoff, aus dem das Leben ist

At least until the late 1920s, it is argued, the merging of different scientific and philosophical metaphors made “Biocolloidology” and the concept of protoplasm highly appealing in a broad cultural context.

"The Cell-Theory" (1853), by Thomas Henry Huxley

“The Cell–Theory” influenced future scientists about the role of epigenetic processes in embryology and development, for which properties of life emerge from the outer cytoplasm, cell membrane, and wall (the periplast), as opposed to the inner contents of the cell, including the nucleus (the endoplast).

" The Cell-Theory " ( 1853 ) , by

Huxley influenced future scientists about the role of epigenetic processes in embryology and development, for which properties of life emerge from the outer cytoplasm, cell membrane, and wall (the periplast), as opposed to the inner contents of the cell, including the nucleus (the endoplast).

From protoplasmic theory to cellular systems biology: a 150-year reflection.

It is found that the "protoplasmic theory," not the "cell theory," was the key 19th-century construct that drove the study of the structure-and-function of living cells and set the course for the development of modern cell biology.

Symbiogenesis: the hidden face of Constantin Merezhkowsky.

A view of Merezhkowsky as zoologist, anthropologist, botanist, philosopher, and novelist is presented, as well as the genesis of his theory of the origin of chloroplasts and of nucleus and cytoplasm as symbionts and the geo-chemical context of the origins and early evolution of life on earth.

Edmund B. Wilson's the cell and cell theory between 1896 and 1925.

  • A. Dröscher
  • Biology
    History and philosophy of the life sciences
  • 2002
Edmund Beecher Wilson's cell theory was a child of the German Zellforschung, and its attempt to provide a comprehensive cellular answer to a wide range of biological and physiological questions.

The spontaneous generation controversy (1859–1880): British and German reactions to the problem of abiogenesis

  • J. Farley
  • Philosophy
    Journal of the history of biology
  • 1972
It is not surprising that one finds this extreme position among German scientists, for it was only in Germany that the strong connection between evolution and the abiogenetic origin of life had been made, and that such proof was never of great importance to them.
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 11 REFERENCES

As regards Protoplasm, in relation to Professor Huxley's Essay on the Physical Basis of Life

WHEN one of the most powerful representatives of the Transcendental school of philosophy, himself possessing a knowledge of biological science, consents to do battle against the modern doctrines

Physical Models and Physiological Concepts: Explanation in Nineteenth-Century Biology

  • E. Mendelsohn
  • Biology
    The British Journal for the History of Science
  • 1965
The roots of this argument about concept formation in physiology are explored in the works of Theodor Schwann, Johannes Müller, François Magendie and Claude Bernard among others.

The Cell Doctrine. Its History and Present State

  • J. Tyson
  • Medicine, Philosophy
    The American Journal of Dental Science
  • 1870

Biology Attains Maturity in the Nineteenth Century

  • Critical Problems in the History of Science
  • 1959

Journal of the Transactions of the Victoria Institute

  • J. Trans. Victoria Inst

The Cell Theory, Pt. II

    The Protoplasm Theory

      95 Ibid