Following Form and Function: Philosophical Archaeology of Life Science (Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy)

Following Form and Function: Philosophical Archaeology of Life Science (Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy)

By: Stephen T. Asma (author)Paperback

Up to 2 WeeksUsually despatched within 2 weeks


The concepts of form and function have traditionally been defined in terms of biology and then extended to other disciplines. The author examines the various interpretations of form and function in science and philosophy, reflecting on the philosophical presuppositions underlying the work of Geoffroy, Cuvier and Darwin, among others. In the continental tradition of Canguilhem and Foucalt, the author's treatment of the historical form/function dispute analyzes the complex interactions among ideology, metaphysical commitment and causal mechanisms.

About Author

Stephen T. Asma is Professor of Philosophy at Columbia College Chicago, where he holds the title of Distinguished Scholar.Asma is the author of seven books, including Against Fairness: In Favor of Favoritism (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2012), On Monsters: an Unnatural History of Our Worst Fears (Oxford Univ. Press), Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads (Oxford Univ. Press), Why I am a Buddhist (Hampton Roads), and the best selling Buddha for Beginners (originally published in 1996 and reissued in 2008). His writing has been translated into German, Spanish, Hebrew, Czech, Romanian, Hindi, Portuguese, and Chinese.Dr. Asma is a founding Fellow of the Research Group in Mind, Science and Culture at Columbia College Chicago. The Research Group is actively working on a philosophical and scientific understanding of the mind/brain that properly incorporates the emotional dimensions of mammalian consciousness.In addition to Western philosophy, Asma has an abiding interest in Buddhism and Confucianism. In 2003, he was Visiting Professor at the Buddhist Institute in Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia, teaching a "Buddhist Philosophy" seminar course as part of their Graduate Program in Buddhist Studies. In addition to Cambodia, he has also researched Asian philosophies in Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Mainland China, and Laos. He has also lived and studied in Shanghai China.


Introduction: history and the philosophy of science; biology and philosophy; the project. Organic form and the Cuvier-Geoffroy debate. Structure as an effect of function: intentional teleology; heuristic versus metaphysical teleology; Aristotle and Cuvier. Function as an effect of structure: the Germans, Plato and Geoffroy; the revolt of matter; Geoffroy's materialist structuralism. Time and organic form: ontogeny; phylogeny. Darwin's functionalism: removing ""design"" from functionalism; critical dimensions in Darwinism. Darwin's structuralism: Darwin - the strict functionalist; Darwin's structuralism; Darwin's causal pluralism. A neglected teleology: the charge of reductionism; a neglected teleology; Darwin and organismic teleology. Rethinking the dichotomy: defects in pure structuralism; defects in pure functionalism; temporality; the dichotomy as ""interests of reason""; dialectical biology; rethinking the dichotomy.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780810113985
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 220
  • ID: 9780810113985
  • ISBN10: 0810113988

Delivery Information

  • Saver Delivery: Yes
  • 1st Class Delivery: Yes
  • Courier Delivery: Yes
  • Store Delivery: Yes

Prices are for internet purchases only. Prices and availability in WHSmith Stores may vary significantly