2007-08: Vitalism Revisited

Vitalism Revisited: History, Philosophy, Biology

March 21, 2008

Opening Remarks:

  • Robert Mitchell (English, Duke)


  • Stefan Helmreich (Anthropology, MIT): “Life Forms at Three Extremes”; Comment: Tim Lenoir (Jenkins Chair, Duke)
  • Joan Steigerwald (Science and Technology Studies, York U, Canada); “Figuring the Organism in Late 18th Century Germany: From Vital Forces to Instrumental Languages”; Comment: Robert Mitchell (English, Duke)
  • Susan Oyama (Emerita, CUNY): “Biologists Behaving Badly: Vitalism and the Language of Language”; Comment: Daniel McShea (Biology and Philosophy, Duke)

Round Table:

  • Robert Brandon (Philosophy and Biology, Duke)
  • Thomas Pfau (English and German, Duke)
  • Güven Güzeldere (Philosophy and Cognitive Neuroscience)
  • Moderator: Barbara Herrnstein Smith (Comparative Literature and English, Duke)

Co-Sponsors: the Franklin Humanities Institute, the English Department, and the Program in the History and Philosophy of Science, Technology and Medicine