Hans Driesch

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Driesch, Hans


Born Oct. 28, 1867, in Bad Kreuznach; died Apr. 16, 1941, in Leipzig. German biologist and idealist philosopher.

Driesch studied at the universities of Hamburg, Freiburg, Munich, and Jena. In 1909 he became privatdocent at Heidelburg and in 1911, professor of philosophy there. In 1920 he was appointed professor of philosophy at Cologne and in 1921, at Leipzig.

Having demonstrated the possibility that an isolated blastomere from a sea urchin egg can develop into a complete larva, Driesch concluded that the possibilities for development in the parts of an embryo (their “prospective potency”) are greater than what is actually formed from these parts (their “prospective significance”). Later, having lost faith in the cognitive value of the experimental-analytical approach, he formulated a vitalist conception according to which the life processes are governed by an unknowable factor—the entelechy.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Hans Driesch (1867-1941), a former student of Weismann and Haeckel, carried out in 1891 a series of experiments with sea urchin eggs that seemed to contradict the results and conclusions reached by Roux in 1888.
Hans Driesch, Martin Evans and Gail Martin--from Germany, Britain and the USA--and their discoveries in this field detailed.
This, then, is all we mean by the philosophy of Biology--the attempt to understand the descriptions of the science in the light of its later investigations.' Almost a century later, the need for Johnstone's apologia seems almost as quaint as the views of Hans Driesch and Henri Bergson that his book was concerned to expound.
Repeating her powerful claim that the inhuman has a life of its own and does not exist only to obstruct human will (p62), Bennett turns to the vitalist theories of Henri Bergson and Hans Driesch (p63).
Posteriormente, en Leipzig se puso bajo la guia de Hans Driesch (su director de tesis) quien, en la linea del monismo ontologico promovido por su maestro--el darwiniano Ernst Heinrich Haeckel estaba trabajando sobre una filosofia natural profundamente conectada a cuestiones embriologicas y, mas genericamente, biologicas.
Su naturaleza y su lugar en el mundo; y, en la vertiente academica, aceptando--en 1934 y por encargo del nuevo gobierno nacionalsocialista-la catedra de filosofia de la universidad de Leipzig, vacante producida precisamente por su maestro Hans Driesch, al ser obligado a dimitir a causa de una acusacion de antinacismo.
He consequently understood the step by step and dynamic explication of the body plan as a product of increasing networking between interacting and thereby developing systems and not, like Hans Driesch (a former student of Ernst Haeckel) in his so-called vitalism, as a product of an organizing power about which Driesch spoke in terms of an unobservable entelechistic principle of life.
Goldschmidt focuses on the work of many of his forerunners and contemporaries, including Theodor Boveri and Hans Driesch who did some of their most significant research in cell biology at the Stazione.
But I want to emphasize here that I believe that Hans Berger was certainly not one of these, nor the other two great Hanses in German parapsychology, namely, Hans Driesch and Hans Bender.
Long before Alan Turing laid the foundations of the ongoing artificial intelligence project with all its computer-scientific and philosophical consequences and side effects, (1) we can find in a short but intellectually dense booklet by the German biologist, bio- and-psycho-philosopher and philosopher of science, Hans Driesch, the following noteworthy remark: 'It is conceivable that once a great technician of the future might reproduce the internal state of a brain at one moment; according to our doctrine there would not be 'on the other side' any corresponding state of a conscious having'.
This is evident in the first paper, 'Why is There Life?' and the first review article on the largely forgotten but profound anti-mechanist biologist and philosopher, Hans Driesch, showing how he struggled to do justice to the reality of life, then in an essay on the role of empathy in the evolution of humanity, followed by a piece attempting to identify and overcome the sickness of modern reason which denies value to life, invoking the good sense of indigenous people able to appreciate life to counteract this.