Do organisms have an ontological status?

Abstract
The category of ‘organism’ has an ambiguous status: is it scientific or is it philosophical? Or, if one looks at it from within the relatively recent field or sub-field of philosophy of biology, is it a central, or at least legitimate category therein, or should it be dispensed with? In any case, it has long served as a kind of scientific “bolstering” for a philosophical train of argument which seeks to refute the “mechanistic” or “reductionist” trend, which has been perceived as dominant since the 17th century, whether in the case of Stahlian animism, Leibnizian monadology, the neo-vitalism of Hans Driesch, or, lastly, of the “phenomenology of organic life” in the 20th century, with authors such as Kurt Goldstein, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Georges Canguilhem. In this paper I try to reconstruct some of the main interpretive ‘stages’ or ‘layers’ of the concept of organism in order to critically evaluate it. How might ‘organism’ be a useful concept if one rules out the excesses of ‘organismic’ biology and metaphysics? Varieties of instrumentalism and what I call the ‘projective’ concept of organism are appealing, but perhaps ultimately unsatisfying.
Keywords philosophy of biology  mechanism and organism
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
The Organism as Ontological Go-Between. Hybridity, Boundaries and Degrees of Reality in its Conceptual History.Charles T. Wolfe - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 1:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.shps.
“What is Living and What is Dead” in Materialism?John H. Zammito - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 67:89-96.
The Organism as Ontological Go-Between: Hybridity, Boundaries and Degrees of Reality in its Conceptual History.Charles T. Wolfe - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 48:151-161.
Epigenesis by experience: Romantic empiricism and non-Kantian biology.Amanda Jo Goldstein - 2018 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 40 (1):13.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Added to PP index
2010-06-15

Total downloads
409 ( #7,510 of 2,231,532 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
79 ( #3,699 of 2,231,532 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature