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Descartes on the Theory of Life and Methodology in the Life Sciences

In Peter Distelzweig & Evan Ragland (eds.), Early Modern Medicine and Natural Philosophy. Springer. pp. 141-72 (2016)

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  1. Descartes and the Dissolution of Life.Barnaby R. Hutchins - 2016 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 54 (2):155-173.
    I argue that Descartes is not a reductionist about life, but dissolves or eliminates the category entirely. This is surprising both because he repeatedly refers to the life of humans, animals, and plants and because he appears to rely on the category of life to construct his physiology and medicine. Various attempts have been made in the scholarship to attribute a principled concept of life to Descartes. Most recently, Detlefsen has argued that Descartes “is a reductionist with respect to explanation (...)
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