The Science and Philosophy of Organism, vol. 1

  • Hans Adolf Eduard Driesch
1906 to 1908
University of Aberdeen

The main objective of Science and the Philosophy of Organism is a discussion of the philosophy of organism. The larger part of the work is devoted to providing the reader with the scientific background required to approach this main objective, which Driesch hopes will ultimately show not merely a loose connection between science and philosophy, but rather their close connection under a particular understanding. Nature is analysed as the Givenness of the One, and philosophy is understood as an endeavour to understand this Givenness. '[W]hether nature is studied with regard to what it actually is, that is to say, what really happens in it, or whether we try to discover which elemental parts of our mental organisation come into play in conceiving nature and what "nature" means in the sphere of metaphysics' (374-75) is of little difference – 'the first is generally called science, the latter philosophy. But in the last resort there is only one kind of human knowledge' (375). The philosophy of living nature is expounded on the basis of a thoroughgoing exposition of biological organism centred around three essential features: its form, metabolism and movement. Driesch sees the most important part of his philosophical account as the analysis he makes of the direct justification of entelechy.

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