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  1. Vital Anti-Mathematicism and the Ontology of the Emerging Life Sciences: From Mandeville to Diderot.Charles T. Wolfe - 2017 - Synthese:1-22.
    Intellectual history still quite commonly distinguishes between the episode we know as the Scientific Revolution, and its successor era, the Enlightenment, in terms of the calculatory and quantifying zeal of the former—the age of mechanics—and the rather scientifically lackadaisical mood of the latter, more concerned with freedom, public space and aesthetics. It is possible to challenge this distinction in a variety of ways, but the approach I examine here, in which the focus on an emerging scientific field or cluster of (...)
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  • Vitalism and the Resistance to Experimentation on Life in the Eighteenth Century.Charles Wolfe - 2013 - Journal of the History of Biology 46 (2):255-282.
    There is a familiar opposition between a ‘Scientific Revolution’ ethos and practice of experimentation, including experimentation on life, and a ‘vitalist’ reaction to this outlook. The former is often allied with different forms of mechanism – if all of Nature obeys mechanical laws, including living bodies, ‘iatromechanism’ should encounter no obstructions in investigating the particularities of animal-machines – or with more chimiatric theories of life and matter, as in the ‘Oxford Physiologists’. The latter reaction also comes in different, perhaps irreducibly (...)
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  • William Harvey's Bloody Motion: Creativity in Science.Laszlo Kosolosky & Dagmar Provijn - unknown
    In this paper, we show how the discovery of the circulation of the blood by William Harvey sheds new light on traditional models of creativity in science. In particular, the example illustrates where both the enlightenment and the romantic view on creativity go astray. In the first section, we sketch the two views and present a list of problems for both. In the remainder of the paper, we demonstrate how William Harvey’s discovery, as a historical case study of creativity in (...)
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  • Why Was There No Controversy Over Life in the Scientific Revolution?Charles T. Wolfe - 2010 - In Victor Boantza Marcelo Dascal (ed.), Controversies in the Scientific Revolution. John Benjamins.
    Well prior to the invention of the term ‘biology’ in the early 1800s by Lamarck and Treviranus, and also prior to the appearance of terms such as ‘organism’ under the pen of Leibniz in the early 1700s, the question of ‘Life’, that is, the status of living organisms within the broader physico-mechanical universe, agitated different corners of the European intellectual scene. From modern Epicureanism to medical Newtonianism, from Stahlian animism to the discourse on the ‘animal economy’ in vitalist medicine, models (...)
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  • A Dark Business, Full of Shadows: Analogy and Theology in William Harvey.Benjamin Goldberg - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (3):419-432.
    In a short work called De conceptione appended to the end of his Exercitationes de generatione animalium , William Harvey developed a rather strange analogy. To explain how such marvelous productions as living beings were generated from the rather inauspicious ingredients of animal reproduction, Harvey argued that conception in the womb was like conception in the brain. It was mostly rejected at the time; it now seems a ludicrous theory based upon homonymy. However, this analogy offers insight into the structure (...)
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