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By Canguilhem Georges

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Ofit5 cfli:cts, the seriesof lile fbrms, u hich positc sulrstancesu'ith the lacultv to impcde or resist thc cvcrpr c s c nt t hl c a t o f d i s s o i u ti o na n d c o rru pti on. + [-ife beginsrvith an "act of vitalization," an effect of heat, "that matcri al soul of living bodies. of the autocracl of living nature,cannot bc passive, henc c it m u s t n o t b c n a te ri a l . rfucmrtter rhat one tion. "7 ob scrvcs in nJ t ur e" is t hc r c s idue of or ga n i c

Vsiologie tlre organismin the introduction to his llandbuclr<1,:r (1833-34). And Claude Bernard,rvho rccorcledhis tlesMenschens tcr thit constitutesa living bodv rvill soon hare clispersed,yct that mitte r sc nc s . rttrreol lif! mart(r t( ) m ov e in t hc s am c dir c c t ion. T h u s , t h c f b r m o 1 a l i r . rsthe fundamentalqucstion ofgent'ral biologv. ifc th us bc ar s a c lear r elat ion t o deat h. f)l course,thc Bernarrliantlreorl la ntirlecine expitimearolc of l i [e involvedr el. r t

Blainville, bv alwaystaking thc idea of the animal series(u'hich fbr him was IHE H uraf sciences,a complement to that author's Gdniedu christianisme. ["De Blainville," Revued'histoire,pp. But Blainville and Maupied's H8foir€ is more than normative in this strong sense: it is a canonicalhistory in thc strict senseofthe word. ,othersdo not. But life is u hat distinguishes in sever als

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A vital rationalist by Canguilhem Georges

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