Download E-books The Strategy of Life: Teleology and Mechanics in Nineteenth-Century German Biology PDF

By Timothy Lenoir

In the early 19th century, a bunch of German biologists led via Johann Friedrich Blumenbach and Karl Friedrich Kielmeyer initiated a look for legislation of organic association that may clarify the phenomena of shape and serve as and identify foundations for a unified concept of lifestyles. The culture spawned by means of those efforts came across its most vital spokesman in Karl Ernst von Baer. Timothy Lenoir chronicles the hitherto unexplored achievements of the practitioners of this examine culture as they aimed to put sensible morphology on the center of a brand new technological know-how, which they referred to as "biology."

Strongly encouraged by means of Immanuel Kant, the biologists' procedure mixed a cosmopolitan teleology with mechanistic theories and sparked sour controversies with the rival courses, mechanistic reductionism and Darwinism. even though briefly eclipsed by way of those methods, the morphological culture, Lenoir argues, was once no longer vanquished within the box of medical debate. It contributed to pathbreaking study in components equivalent to comparative anatomy, embryology, paleontology, and biogeography.

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