David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
The eminent French biologist and historian of biology, François Jacob, once notoriously declared "On n‘interroge plus la vie dans les laboratoires": laboratory research no longer inquires into the notion of Life‘. Nowadays, as David Hull puts it, "both scientists and philosophers take ontological reduction for granted… Organisms are ‗nothing but‘ atoms, and that is that." In the mid-twentieth century, from the immediate post-war period to the late 1960s, French philosophers of science such as Georges Canguilhem, Raymond Ruyer and Gilbert Simondon returned to Jacob‘s statement with an odd kind of pathos: they were determined to reverse course. Not by imposing a different kind of research program in laboratories, but by an unusual combination of historical and philosophical inquiry into the foundations of the life sciences (particularly medicine, physiology and the cluster of activities that were termed 'biology' in the early 1800s). Even in as straightforwardly scholarly a work as La formation du concept de réflexe aux XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles (1955), Canguilhem speaks oddly of "defending vitalist biology," and declares that Life cannot be grasped by logic (or at least, "la vie déconcerte la logique"). Was all this historical and philosophical work merely a reassertion of 'mysterian‘, magical vitalism? In order to answer this question we need to achieve some perspective on Canguilhem‘s 'vitalism‘, notably with respect to its philosophical influences such as Kurt Goldstein
|Keywords||Canguilhem vitalism biophilosophy|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Charles T. Wolfe (2011). From Substantival to Functional Vitalism and Beyond. Eidos: Revista de Filosofía de la Universidad Del Norte 14:212-235.
Sebastian Normandin & Charles T. Wolfe (2013). Vitalism and the Scientific Image: An Introduction. In Sebastian Normandin & Charles T. Wolfe (eds.), Vitalism and the scientific image, 1800-2010. Springer
Mariam Fraser, Sarah Kember & Celia Lury (eds.) (2006). Inventive Life: Approaches to the New Vitalism. Sage.
Charles T. Wolfe (2010). Do Organisms Have an Ontological Status? History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 32 (2-3):195-232.
John S. Ransom (1997). Forget Vitalism: Foucault and Lebensphilosophie. Philosophy and Social Criticism 23 (1):33-47.
Charles T. Wolfe (2008). Vitalism Without Metaphysics? Medical Vitalism in the Enlightenment. Science in Context 21 (4):461-463.
Jean Gayon (1998). The Concept of Individuality in Canguilhem's Philosophy of Biology. Journal of the History of Biology 31 (3):305 - 325.
William P. Bechtel (1982). Taking Vitalism and Dualism Seriously: Towards a More Adequate Materialism. Nature and System 4 (March-June):23-44.
Geert Jan M. Klerk (1979). Mechanism and Vitalism. A History of the Controversy. Acta Biotheoretica 28 (1).
C. Chimisso (2003). The Tribunal of Philosophy and its Norms: History and Philosophy in Georges Canguilhem's Historical Epistemology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 34 (2):297-327.
C. Hertogh (1987). Life and the Scientific Concept of Life. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 2 (2).
Hans-Jörg Rheinberger (2012). A Plea for a Historical Epistemology of Research. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 43 (1):105-111.
Added to index2012-05-03
Total downloads47 ( #92,559 of 1,911,681 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #180,473 of 1,911,681 )
How can I increase my downloads?