Synopses & Reviews
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.
The concepts of form and function have traditionally been defined in terms of biology and then extended to other disciplines. Stephen T. Asma examines the various interpretations of form and function in science and philosophy, reflecting on the philosophical presuppositions underlying the work of Geoffroy, Cuvier, Darwin, and others.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 205-213) and index.
About the 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.
Table of Contents
1. Organic Form and the Cuvier-Geoffroy Debate
2. Structure as an Effect of Function
3. Function as an Effect of Structure
4. Time and Organic Form
5. Darwin's Functionalism
6. Darwin's Structuralism
7. A Neglected Teleology
8. Rethinking the Dichotomy