Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Not by DesignRetiring Darwin's Watchmaker$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

John Reiss

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780520258938

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520258938.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 19 January 2022

Cuvier and the Principle of the Conditions for Existence

Cuvier and the Principle of the Conditions for Existence

(p.85) 5 Cuvier and the Principle of the Conditions for Existence
Not by Design

John O. Reiss

University of California Press

This chapter focuses on Georges Cuvier and his principle of the conditions for existence. Cuvier was in every sense a child of the Enlightenment, and brought a critical, rational attitude to the understanding of organisms. His conservatism, combined with his broad appreciation of the philosophical issues involved, allowed him to find a solution to the problem of teleology, when so many before him had failed. The chapter begins with Cuvier's biographical background, moves on to his works in the context of Enlightenment science, and then discusses the enunciation of Cuvier's principle, reviewing its philosophical origins and significance. It also discusses the influence of Cuvier's principle in France and Germany. In particular, Cuvier's Kantian principle of the conditions for existence influenced German “teleomechanism,” Comte's positive philosophy, and Claude Bernard's foundation of experimental biology.

Keywords:   George Cuvier, conditions for existence, teleology, France, Germany, teleomechanism, positive philosophy, experimental biology

California 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.