Hans Driesch

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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.

References in periodicals archive ?
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.
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.