The philosophy of biology (1914) by James Johnstone PDF book

The philosophy of biology

Contents of the book:
The conceptual world.-- The organism as a mechanism.-- The activities of the organism. -- The vital impetus. -- The individual and the species. --Transformism. -- The meaning of evolution.-- The organic and the inorganic.-- Mathematical and physical notions

Excerpt:
It has been suggested that some reference, of an apologetic nature, to the title of this book, maybe desirable, so I wish to point out that it can really be justified. Science, says Driesch, is the attempt to describe Givenness, and Philosophy is the attempt to understand it. It is our task, as investigators of nature, to describe what seems to us to happen there, and the knowledge that we so attain that is, our perceptions, thinned out, so to speak, modified by our mental organization, related to each other, classified and remembered constitutes our Givenness.

This is only a description of what seems to us to be nature. But few of us remain content with it, and the impulse to go beyond our mere descriptions is at times an irresistible one. Fettered by our habits of thought, and by the limitations of sensation, we seem to look out into the dark and to see only the shadows of things. Then we attempt to turn round in order that we might discover what it is that casts the shadows, and what it is in ourselves that give shape to them. We seek for the Reality that we feel is behind the shadows. That is Philosophy.

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