Book ID: CBB688059464

Life Concepts from Aristotle to Darwin: On Vegetable Souls (2018)


Lucas John Mix (Author)

Palgrave Macmillan
Publication date: 2018
Language: English

Publication Date: 2018
Physical Details: 281

This book traces the history of life-concepts, with a focus on the vegetable souls of Aristotle, investigating how they were interpreted and eventually replaced by evolutionary biology. Philosophers have long struggled with the relationship between physics, physiology, and psychology, asking questions of organization, purpose, and agency. For two millennia, the vegetable soul, nutrition, and reproduction were commonly used to understand basic life and connect it to “higher” animal and vegetable life. Cartesian dualism and mechanism destroyed this bridge and left biology without an organizing principle until Darwin. Modern biology parallels Aristotelian vegetable life-concepts, but remains incompatible with the animal, rational, subjective, and spiritual life-concepts that developed through the centuries. Recent discoveries call for a second look at Aristotle’s ideas – though not their medieval descendants. Life remains an active, chemical process whose cause, identity, and purpose is self-perpetuation.

Reviewed By

Review Fabrizio Baldassarri (2019) Review of "Life Concepts from Aristotle to Darwin: On Vegetable Souls". HOPOS (pp. 423-426). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Archibald, J. David
Ambrose, C. T.
Carlson, Charles Royal
Depew, David J.
Diggle, Pamela K.
Friedman, William E.
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Biology and Philosophy
Archives of Natural History
American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly
Columbia University Press
Palgrave Macmillan
University of Pittsburgh Press
Evolutionary developmental biology
Philosophy of biology
Natural selection
Darwin, Charles Robert
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von
Bichat, Marie François Xavier
Empedocles of Agrigentum
Gray, Asa
Time Periods
19th century
18th century
20th century
20th century, late
21st century
20th century, early
Great Britain
United States

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