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  • Open Access
  • © 2023

Vitalism and Its Legacy in “Twentieth Century” Life Sciences and Philosophy

  • This book is open access, which means that you have free and unlimited access

  • Brings together sociologists, historians, and philosophers of biology

  • Offers a synchronistic blend of approaches and perspectives

  • Approaches western and eastern European scientific geographies, allowing for novel comparisons

Part of the book series: History, Philosophy and Theory of the Life Sciences (HPTL, volume 29)

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Softcover Book USD 49.99
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Hardcover Book USD 59.99
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About this book

This Open Access book combines philosophical and historical analysis of various forms of alternatives to mechanism and mechanistic explanation, focusing on the 19th century to the present. It addresses vitalism, organicism and responses to materialism and its relevance to current biological science. In doing so, it promotes dialogue and discussion about the historical and philosophical importance of vitalism and other non-mechanistic conceptions of life. It points towards the integration of genomic science into the broader history of biology. It details a broad engagement with a variety of nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first century vitalisms and conceptions of life. In addition, it discusses important threads in the history of concepts in the United States and Europe, including charting new reception histories in eastern and south-eastern Europe. While vitalism, organicism and similar epistemologies are often the concern of specialists in the history and philosophy of biology and of historians of ideas, the range of the contributions as well as the geographical and temporal scope of the volume allows for it to appeal to the historian of science and the historian of biology generally. 

Keywords

  • development of natural history
  • case-study pointillism
  • history of biology
  • history and sociology
  • life science and philosophy
  • history of science
  • organicism
  • history and philosophy of the life sciences
  • Open Access

Editors and Affiliations

  • National Human Genome Research Institute, Bethesda, USA

    Christopher Donohue

  • Dept of Philosophy and Moral Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

    Charles T. Wolfe

About the editors

Dr. Christopher Donohue is Historian of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) at the National Institutes of Health.  He established the institutional archives at the NHGRI and currently manages the History of Genomics Program, which promotes the study of genomics and its integration into the 20th century life sciences. He has conducted over sixty oral history interviews which cover all aspects of modern biology and genetics. He is the editor of a special issue on “Genomics and the Human Genome Project” for the Journal of the History of Biology. He is an associate editor of the Ideology and Politics Journal, which publishes peer-reviewed scholarly work on post-Soviet ideas and politics.  Dr. Donohue focuses on the history of population genetics as well as conceptual issues in contemporary biological science. His interests range from conceptual appropriation in the biological and the social sciences to the reception of various scientific ideologies (Darwinism, vitalism, materialism) in central and south-eastern Europe.

 

Dr. Charles Wolfe is a researcher in the Department of Philosophy and Moral Sciences, Ghent University. He works primarily in history and philosophy of the early modern life sciences, with a particular interest in materialism and vitalism. He is the author of Materialism: A Historico-Philosophical Introduction (2016) and La philosophie de la biologie: une histoire du vitalisme (2019), and has edited volumes including Monsters and Philosophy (2005), The Body as Object and Instrument of Knowledge (2010, with O. Gal), Vitalism and the scientific image in post-Enlightenment life-science (2013, with S. Normandin), Brain Theory (2014), Physique de l’esprit (w. J.C. Dupont, 2018), and Philosophy of Biology before Biology (w. C. Bognon-Küss, 2019). He also co-edits the Springer series in History, Philosophy and Theory of the Life Sciences. 

 

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
This title has not yet been released. You will be able to pre-order it soon.
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
This title has not yet been released. You will be able to pre-order it soon.