Divine Machines : Leibniz and the Sciences of Life / Justin E. H. Smith.
- Core Textbook
- Princeton, NJ : Princeton University Press, 
1 online resource : 1 halftone. 5 tables.
- Life sciences -- History -- 17th century.
Life sciences -- History -- 18th century.
Life sciences -- Philosophy -- History -- 17th century.
Science -- Philosophy -- History -- 17th century.
- In English.
- System Details:
- Mode of access: Internet via World Wide Web.
text file PDF
- Though it did not yet exist as a discrete field of scientific inquiry, biology was at the heart of many of the most important debates in seventeenth-century philosophy. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the work of G. W. Leibniz. In Divine Machines, Justin Smith offers the first in-depth examination of Leibniz's deep and complex engagement with the empirical life sciences of his day, in areas as diverse as medicine, physiology, taxonomy, generation theory, and paleontology. He shows how these wide-ranging pursuits were not only central to Leibniz's philosophical interests, but often provided the insights that led to some of his best-known philosophical doctrines. Presenting the clearest picture yet of the scope of Leibniz's theoretical interest in the life sciences, Divine Machines takes seriously the philosopher's own repeated claims that the world must be understood in fundamentally biological terms. Here Smith reveals a thinker who was immersed in the sciences of life, and looked to the living world for answers to vexing metaphysical problems. He casts Leibniz's philosophy in an entirely new light, demonstrating how it radically departed from the prevailing models of mechanical philosophy and had an enduring influence on the history and development of the life sciences. Along the way, Smith provides a fascinating glimpse into early modern debates about the nature and origins of organic life, and into how philosophers such as Leibniz engaged with the scientific dilemmas of their era.
PART ONE. First Things
Chapter One. "Que Les Philosophes Medicinassent"
Chapter Two. The "Hydraulico-Pneumaticopyrotechnical Machine of Quasi-Perpetual Motion"
Part Two. From Animal Economy to Subtle Anatomy
Chapter Three. Organic Bodies, Part I. Nature and Structure
Chapter Four. Organic Bodies, Part II: Context and Legacy
PART THREE. The Origins Of Organic Form
Chapter Five. The Divine Preformation Of Organic Bodies
Chapter Six. Games of Nature, the Emergence of Organic Form, and the Problem of Spontaneity
PART FOUR. Species
Chapter Seven. The Nature And Boundaries Of Biological Species
Appendix 1. Directions Pertaining to the Institution of Medicine (1671)
Appendix 2. The Animal Machine
Appendix 3. The Human Body, Like that of Any Animal, is a Sort of Machine (1680-86)
Appendix 4. On Writing the New Elements of Medicine (1682-83)
Appendix 5. On Botanical Method (1701)
- Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page (publisher's Web site, viewed 08. Jul 2019)
- De Gruyter.
- Contained In:
- De Gruyter University Press Library.
- Publisher Number:
- 10.1515/9781400838721 doi
- Access Restriction:
- Restricted for use by site license.
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