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By Canguilhem Georges

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Dccidcd to publish his tirst goi ng on inside t he anim al or g. 226-21) 129] It is easvto unclerstandwhv anatomy took prioritv over spleenand kidnev in dogs. In thc sevcntcenthcentur\',the mech- thc studv ol organ functions. In manv cascspcople felt that the best wav to undcrstandthc functionsof the organswas to inspcct at oncc premeclitateclancl blind. Stru c tu re su ere macroscopi c,and the mechanism'scogsand springs,bv destrovingpartsanclobserv- llnc t ions , n o m a tte r h o rv c o m p l e x th e underl vi ng processes, i ng thc dist ur banccor br eakdor vnol't he m achinc'sopcr at ion.

F hese organsare determinglbv thcir actions in such a wav that thc I am not i-ct makingthe difliculty plainenough:it lics not only in organism is a svst cm of f br ces r at her t han a svst emol or gans. " It is easvto sec the orgaoicparts,and in virtuc of which thev all conspiretorn,ard samcgcncralgoal- bv which I mean,thel form that unity vr,hich among u'hv imagesof thc circle and sphereenjovedsuch prestiger r ecipr ocit v ol R oma nt ic nat ur alist srt he cir cle r cpr cscnt st he onecallsan animal,that organizcdwholc lvhichlives,grorvs,feels, meansand endsat the organlevel,thc sphcrcrcprcsentsthe totalitv, individual or universal,oforganic forms and fbrccs.

R lir vr cf lecr bot lr t he im Por t ancc. r n( l ol- biI t h. Whilt m anr hist or iansol bit 'logr ', r scr il>e n)vstcri ousness i s t hc obs es s ivcp rc s e n c eo f c c rta i n u n s c i e nti fi c val ut s at the very inccption ol scientific inrluirv. h a t l i v i n g mcanr to them, i dc nt if v r v it h lif c . rnd d ir ec t ionst o ot h e fs . I i l c i s rh e o p p o s i teo l i n di ffercnccto oD e' s sur r ounr lingsf . ] S c ic nc c ,hou e v c r, d e n i e sth e v a l u e sth a t l i l i i nrputcsto di fl l ir c nt objec t s ,lt d e l i n e so b j e c ts i n re l a ti o n to oD e anr)rher- i n other \ords, it l'ucnsurcsu'ithout ascribingvalue.

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A vital rationalist by Canguilhem Georges


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