Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Sounding the Limits of LifeEssays in the Anthropology of Biology and Beyond$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Stefan Helmreich

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691164809

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691164809.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 25 June 2022

Life forms

Life forms

A Keyword Entry

(p.19) Chapter 2 Life forms
Sounding the Limits of Life

Stefan Helmreich

Sophia Roosth

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines how natural philosophers and scientists in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries employed the term “life form.” It asks how life came to have a form, where the term “life form” came from, and what “life form” has come to mean in the contemporary moment, when it is possible to use the term to refer to as-yet-conjectural manifestations that may redefine the very referent of life itself. To map the historical transformation of the term “life form,” the chapter draws on Raymond Williams's 1976 Keywords, in which Williams offered histories of keywords in social theory, detailing the shifting, contested meanings of such terms as “culture,” “nature,” and “ideology.” Using this approach, the chapter identifies a move from deductive reasoning to inductive reasoning to abductive reasoning.

Keywords:   natural philosophers, scientists, life form, Raymond Williams, social theory, deductive reasoning, inductive reasoning, abductive reasoning

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.