History, Philosophy and Theory of the Life Sciences

Vitalism and the Scientific Image in Post-Enlightenment Life Science, 1800-2010

Editors: Normandin, Sebastian, Wolfe, Charles T. (Eds.)

  • First comprehensive overview of Vitalism: an idea with ever increasing relevance to modern biological theory
  • Comprehensive overview of multi- and trans- disciplinary approaches
  • Combination of historical and contemporary analysis
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About this book

Vitalism is understood as impacting the history of the life sciences, medicine and philosophy, representing an epistemological challenge to the dominance of mechanism over the last 200 years, and partly revived with organicism in early theoretical biology. The contributions in this volume portray the history of vitalism from the end of the Enlightenment to the modern day, suggesting some reassessment of what it means both historically and conceptually. As such it includes a wide range of material, employing both historical and philosophical methodologies, and it is divided fairly evenly between 19th and 20th century historical treatments and more contemporary analysis. This volume presents a significant contribution to the current literature in the history and philosophy of science and the history of medicine.

Reviews

From the book reviews:

“It has provided language and frameworks for defining the nature of life that can be employed in concert with other philosophical doctrines. Indeed, by the end of the book, the essayists argue that vitalism is materialistic, and materialism is vitalistic. … The volume is worthwhile for any active philosophy of science program. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduate, graduate students, and researchers/faculty.” (A. K. Ackerberg-Hastings, Choice, Vol. 51 (6), February, 2014)

“The editors have assembled a fascinating selection of papers that examine the history of vitalism and trace its various developments from the end of the Enlightenment to the modern day, reassessing both its historical and conceptual import. … a compelling and insightful volume, which puts the spark back into the contemporary Vitalist debate.” (Adam Ferner, Philosophy, February, 2014)

“This collection is a rare and much welcome collective review of the diversity, vigor, and transformations of post-Enlightenment vitalism and associated schools of thought. It provides historical insights that are otherwise not available. … this book greatly enriches and complicates our understanding of modern vitalism.” (Ku-ming (Kevin) Chang, Early Science and Medicine, Vol. 19 (4), 2014)

“Vitalism and the Scientific Image in Post-Enlightenment Life Science brings together cutting-edge analyses that will be of lasting interest to historians and philosophers of the life sciences and medicine, as well as to scientists working in these and related areas. … All three sections contain engaging essays that make important contributions to either the history of vitalism, its conceptual foundations, or its metaphysical assumptions.” (Pierre-Olivier Méthot, Journal of the History of Biology, Vol. 47, 2014)


Table of contents (14 chapters)

  • Vitalism and the Scientific Image: An Introduction

    Normandin, Sebastian (et al.)

    Pages 1-15

  • Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and the Place of Irritability in the History of Life and Death

    Giglioni, Guido

    Pages 19-49

  • Rethinking Organic Vitality in Germany at the Turn of the Nineteenth Century

    Steigerwald, Joan

    Pages 51-75

  • The “Novel of Medicine”

    Rigoli, Juan

    Pages 77-102

  • Life and the Mind in Nineteenth-Century Britain

    Dyde, Sean

    Pages 103-124

Buy this book

eBook $159.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-94-007-2445-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $209.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-94-007-2444-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $209.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-94-017-8193-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Vitalism and the Scientific Image in Post-Enlightenment Life Science, 1800-2010
Editors
  • Sebastian Normandin
  • Charles T. Wolfe
Series Title
History, Philosophy and Theory of the Life Sciences
Series Volume
2
Copyright
2013
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
eBook ISBN
978-94-007-2445-7
DOI
10.1007/978-94-007-2445-7
Hardcover ISBN
978-94-007-2444-0
Softcover ISBN
978-94-017-8193-0
Series ISSN
2211-1948
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VI, 377
Number of Illustrations and Tables
5 b/w illustrations
Topics