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Divine MachinesLeibniz and the Sciences of Life$
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Justin E. H. Smith

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691141787

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691141787.001.0001

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Organic Bodies, Part II: Context and Legacy

Organic Bodies, Part II: Context and Legacy

(p.137) Chapter Four Organic Bodies, Part II: Context and Legacy
Divine Machines

Justin E. H. Smith

Princeton University Press

This chapter analyzes the scientific context in which Leibniz's unique theory of organic bodies took shape. It begins by focusing on the biographical and historical context of Leibniz's model of organic bodies. In particular, it looks at the relation of Leibniz's model of organic body to the empirical life sciences of his era, especially to the seventeenth century's discovery of the ubiquity of subvisible living creatures as well as its growing awareness of the deep interdependence of all living entities. The chapter concludes with a consideration of the legacy of the model of individuality developed by Leibniz in today's philosophy of biology.

Keywords:   G. W. Leibniz, organic body, life science, seventeenth century

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