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Philosophy of Biology Before Biology

London: Routledge (2019)

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  1. Between biology and chemistry in the Enlightenment: how nutrition shapes vital organization. Buffon, Bonnet, C.F. Wolff.Cécilia Bognon-Küss - 2019 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 41 (1):11.
    This paper seeks to characterize how the study of nutrition processes contributed to revisit the problem of vital organization in the late eighteenth century. It argues that focusing on nutrition leads to reformulate the problem of the relation between life and organization in terms of processes, rather than static or given structures. This nutrition-centered approach to life amounts to acknowledge the specific strategic role nutrition played in the development of a materialist approach to the generation of vital organization. The paper (...)
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  • The Artificial Cell, the Semipermeable Membrane, and the Life that Never Was, 1864–1901.Daniel Liu - 2019 - Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences 49 (5):504-555.
    Since the early nineteenth century a membrane or wall has been central to the cell’s identity as the elementary unit of life. Yet the literally and metaphorically marginal status of the cell membrane made it the site of clashes over the definition of life and the proper way to study it. In this article I show how the modern cell membrane was conceived of by analogy to the first “artificial cell,” invented in 1864 by the chemist Moritz Traube (1826–1894), and (...)
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