Philosophy of Biology Before Biology

1st Edition

Cécilia Bognon-Küss, Charles T. Wolfe

February 12, 2019 Forthcoming
Reference - 256 Pages
ISBN 9781138652873 - CAT# Y228906
Series: History and Philosophy of Biology


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The use of the term ‘biology’ to refer to a unified science of life emerged around 1800 (most prominently by scientists such as Lamarck and Treviranus, although scholarship has indicated its usage at least 30-40 years earlier). The interplay between philosophy and natural science has also accompanied the constitution of biology as a science.

Philosophy of Biology Before Biology examines biological and proto-biological writings from the mid-eighteenth century to the early nineteenth century (from Buffon to Cuvier; Kant to Oken; and Kielmeyer) with two major sets of questions in mind:

  1. What were the distinctive conceptual features of the move towards biology as a science?
  2. What were the relations and differences between the ‘philosophical’ focus on the nature of living entities, and the ‘scientific’ focus?

This insightful volume produces a fresh but also systematic perspective both on the history of biology as a science and on the early versions of, in the 1960s in a post-positivist context, the philosophy of biology. It will appeal to students and researchers interested in fields such as History of Science, Philosophy of Science and Biology.

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