A vital rationalist by Canguilhem Georges PDF

By Canguilhem Georges

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The rvord "part" secmed ill-suited to dcnote the "organs" of r v hic h t h c o rg a n i s mc o u l d b e s e e n a s thc " total i ty" but not I that nat ur e f can] . , , , ": t . " l ow studcnt at t he Car oline Academ l in St ut t gar t , dcliver ed a ReadingLeibniz inspireclCharlesBonnct, rvhosehostilitr to mechanism had been confirmed by Abraham Trembley'sobser- celebratedlecture on thc main ideasof an influential approach to zoology and botanv, the Rappott deslorces organiquesdans Io (179)).

B iologis t sd o n o t re g a rdth i s c l u e s ti o na s meani ngl ess:contem- pendent fhnctions. rtcd,mosr homcosraric por ar v t hc o ri c s o [ th e o ri g i n s o f l i fe o n earth l ook to a pri or natura lm achines. But rvhv alrvaystwo opposite tcrms? ["Vie," Encr,clopaedia,pp. h a i c h a ra c tc ri z e sli l e i s not so much thc cxistcnccofthe life functions tlremselvesas thcir gradualdctcrior at ion and u l ti m a te c e s s a ti o n l. rscarchfbr an irrefutablc sign of lifc, to mutantstemporarilvmorc llt than their compctitors to occupv a certain ecological context.

Rnaturcllcr(1827). 6 1 1 5 1 eopr l ,rc to rr, i t * as onl r l ogi cr) to measurethc pcrfection of livin{I Lreingsin tcrms of the incrcasing structuraldifferentiationand firnctionalspecializationol rheir p ar t s , anr l t hus i n te l ms o f rr:l a ti v cc o m p l e x itv. B ut that comp lex it v r t quir ecl , i n tu rn , a n a s s u rJ n c eo f u n i tv and i ttdi vi dual i z. Bernardwaslirnd ofusing the tenn "elasticitv" to convev his idea c,forganic Iifc. Sucha svstemis capableofaltering its rclation to the en\ironment ll'om which it drarvsits cnergv C)ne treats thc organism as a machine, and this is correct, but one conridcrs it as a lired, immutrble, mcthanirol moc/lnr, confined rrith in r hr linr it s c r l m at hc m at ic al pr ec i s i o n .

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A vital rationalist by Canguilhem Georges


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