Abstract

Abstract:

The case of William Morton Wheeler and Alfred North Whitehead represents a striking example of how biologists and philosophers engaged in a common enterprise in the early twentieth century. Both challenge the notion that the living world is composed of distinct organisms. Based on his studies of the behavior of social insects, Wheeler developed a concept of superorganisms that paved the way for a theory of emergent evolution. This paper argues that Whitehead, whose relation to academic biology has been largely ignored, drew on Wheeler's findings and integrated them into a universal philosophical cosmology.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3222
Print ISSN
0022-5037
Pages
pp. 489-507
Launched on MUSE
2016-07-25
Open Access
No
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