Acta Biotheoretica

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 123-133

First online:

Hemostatic regulation and Whitehead's philosophy of organism

  • James A. MarcumAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, Harvard Medical SchoolDepartment of Biology, MIT
  • , Geert M. N. VerschuurenAffiliated withDepartment of Philosophy, Boston College

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Biology as a scientific discipline has relied heavily upon advances in chemistry and physics. An inherent danger in this relationship is the reduction of living phenomena to physico-chemical terms. Whitehead's ‘Philosophy of Organism’ is utilized to examine current methodologies within biology and to evaluate their appropriateness for future research. Hemostatic regulation is employed to illustrate the applications of organistic concepts to biological research. It is concluded that understanding of living entities and their properties as well as possibly life itself will require synthesis of the many analytical elements as informational structures.