Acta Biotheoretica

, Volume 35, Issue 1–2, pp 123–133 | Cite as

Hemostatic regulation and Whitehead's philosophy of organism

  • James A. Marcum
  • Geert M. N. Verschuuren


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.


Scientific Discipline Biological Research Current Methodology Informational Structure Organistic Concept 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Biot, R. (1959). What is life?- New York: Hawthorn.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Cannon, W.B. (1932). The wisdom of the body.- New York: Norton & Co.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Commoner, B. (1964). Roles of deoxyribunocleic acid in inheritance.- Nature 202: 960–968.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Damus, P., and Rosenberg, R.D. (1973). Anticoagulant action of heparin.- Nature 246: 355–357.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    DeKoninck, C. (1962). Is the word ‘life’ meaningful?- In V. Smith, ed. Philos Series No 3, p.72. New York: St John's Univ Press.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gaskell, A. (1928). What is life?- Baltimore: Thomas.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Gregoire, C., and Tagnon, H.J. (1962). Blood coagulation.- Comp Biochem 4: 435–483.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Herrmann, H. (1947). Morphological and functional aspects of living matter and Whitehead's category of actual entity.- Phil Sc 14: 254–260.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Jones, R.W. (1973). Principles of biological regulation.- New York: Acad Press.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Marcum, J.A., Fritze, L., Galli, S., Karp, G., and Rosenberg, R.D. (1983). Microvascular heparin-like species with anticoagulant activity.- Am J Physiol 245: H725-H733.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Marcum, J.A., McKenney, J.B., and Rosenberg, R.D. (1984). Acceleration of thrombin-antithrombin complex formation in rat hindquarters via heparin-like molecules bound to the endothelium.- J Clin Invest 74 (in press).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Marcum, J.A., and Rosenberg, R.D. (1984). Anticoagulant active heparin-like molecules from vascular tissue.- Biochem 33: 1730–1737.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Plamodon, A.L. (1979). Whitehead's organic philosophy of science.- Albany: Siny Press.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Rosenberg, R., and Lam, L. (1979). Correlation between structure and function of heparin.- Proceed Nat Acad Sciences 76: 1218–1222.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Schrödinger, E. (1967). What is life?- Cambridge: Cambridge Univ Press.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Whitehead, A.N. (1919). An enquiry concerning the principles of natural knowledge.- Cambridge: Cambridge Univ Press.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Whitehead, A.N. (1920). The concept of nature.- Cambridge: Cambridge Univ Press.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Whitehead, A.N. (1925). Science and the modern world.- New York: The Macmillan Co.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Whitehead, A.N. (1927). Symbolism, its meaning and effect.- New York: The Macmillan Co.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Whitehead, A.N. (1929). Process and reality.- New York: The Macmillan Co.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Wiener, N. (1961). Cybernetics.- The MIT Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff/Dr W. Junk Publishers 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • James A. Marcum
    • 1
    • 2
  • Geert M. N. Verschuuren
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of MedicineHarvard Medical SchoolBoston
  2. 2.Department of BiologyMITCambridgeUSA
  3. 3.Department of PhilosophyBoston CollegeChestnut HillUSA

Personalised recommendations