Toward a Pragmatist Epistemology: Arthur O. Lovejoy’s and H. S. Jennings’s Biophilosophical Responses to Neovitalism, 1909–1914 [Book Review]

Journal of the History of Biology 48 (1):37-66 (2015)

Abstract
The sustained interdisciplinary debate about neovitalism between two Johns Hopkins University colleagues, philosopher Arthur O. Lovejoy and experimental geneticist H. S. Jennings, in the period 1911–1914, was the basis for their theoretical reconceptualization of scientific knowledge as contingent and necessarily incomplete in its account of nature. Their response to Hans Driesch’s neovitalist concept of entelechy, and his challenge to the continuity between biology and the inorganic sciences, resulted in a historically significant articulation of genetics and philosophy. This study traces the debate’s shift of problem-focus away from neovitalism’s threat to the unity of science – “organic autonomy,” as Lovejoy put it – and toward the potential for development of a nonmechanististic, nonrationalist theory of scientific knowledge. The result was a new pragmatist epistemology, based on Lovejoy’s and Jennings’s critiques of the inadequacy of pragmatism’s account of scientific knowledge. The first intellectual move, drawing on naturalism and pragmatism, was based on a reinterpretation of science as organized experience. The second, sparked by Henri Bergson’s theory of creative evolution, and drawing together elements of Dewey’s and James’s pragmatisms, produced a new account of the contingency and necessary incompleteness of scientific knowledge. Prompted by the neovitalists’ mix of a priori concepts and, in Driesch’s case, and adherence to empiricism, Lovejoy’s and Jennings’s developing pragmatist epistemologies of science explored the interrelation between rationalism and empiricism
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s10739-014-9388-x
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 40,785
External links

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

Life Sciences in the Twentieth Century.Garland Allen - 1976 - Journal of the History of Biology 9 (2):323-323.
Rebel With Two Causes: Hans Driesch.Garland E. Allen - 2008 - In Oren Harman & Michael Dietrich (eds.), Rebels, Mavericks, and Heretics in Biology. Yale University Press. pp. 37.
Mechanism and Vitalism.H. S. Jennings - 1918 - Philosophical Review 27 (6):577-596.
The Thirteen Pragmatisms. I.Arthur O. Lovejoy - 1908 - Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 5 (1):5-12.

View all 13 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

A non-metaphysical evaluation of vitalism in the early twentieth century.Bohang Chen - 2018 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 40 (3):50.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

What Pragmatism Was by F. Thomas Burke. [REVIEW]Colin Koopman - 2014 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 50 (2):304-308.
A Note From Professor A. O. Lovejoy.Arthur O. Lovejoy - 1910 - Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 7 (5):133.
Arthur O. Lovejoy and the Quest for Intelligibility.Daniel J. Wilson - 1981 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 17 (3):284-289.
Pragmatism and Realism.Arthur O. Lovejoy - 1909 - Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 6 (21):575-580.
Pragmatism as Interactionism.Arthur O. Lovejoy - 1920 - Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 17 (22):589-596.
The Affiliations of Pragmatism.Horace Meyer Kallen - 1909 - Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 6 (24):655-661.
The Thirteen Pragmatisms. I.Arthur O. Lovejoy - 1908 - Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 5 (1):5-12.
The Thirteen Pragmatisms. II.Arthur O. Lovejoy - 1908 - Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 5 (2):29-39.
Essays in Critical Realism.Durant Drake (ed.) - 1920 - New York: Gordian Press.
The Thirteen Pragmatisms.Arthur O. Lovejoy - 1963 - Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2015-04-28

Total views
13 ( #587,959 of 2,244,030 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
7 ( #252,886 of 2,244,030 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature