The Natural Philosophy of Plant Form

The Natural Philosophy of Plant Form

by Agnes Arber


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When she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1946, Agnes Arber (1879-1960) was one of only three women to have been admitted into the institution. Arber conducted research that focused mainly on the morphology of flowering plants, but her work is characterised by its explorations of historical botany and evolution. First published in 1950, this book widens the scope of morphology into a study of all aspects of form across the whole chronology of botany. Arber begins with Aristotle and investigates the work of early modern botanists like Bacon and Goethe, before examining the effects of this wider approach on subjects like evolution and taxonomy. Arguing that post-Darwinian doctrine often causes botanists to twist their observations to suit a hypothetical history of phylogenesis, rather than changing the hypothesis to suit observational facts, this bold and fascinating text will interest students of biology and philosophy alike.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781108045056
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 02/23/2012
Series: Cambridge Library Collection - Life Sciences
Pages: 266
Product dimensions: 5.51(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.59(d)

Table of Contents

Preface; 1. The meaning and content of plant morphology; 2. The plant morphology of the Aristotelian school; 3. The plant morphology of Albertus Magnus and Andrea Cesalpino; 4. Plant morphology from Joachim Jung to Goethe and de Candolle; 5. The concept of the organisation type; 6. The partial-shoot theory of the leaf; 7. The urge to whole-shoot-hood in the leaf; 8. The bearing of the partial-shoot theory of the leaf on other morphological problems; 9. Repetitive branching and the gestalt type, with special reference to parallelism; 10. The mechanism of plant morphology; 11. The interpretation of plant morphology; List of books and memoirs cited; Index.

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