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Determinism and probability in the development of the cell theory.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22542690     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
A return to Claude Bernard's original use of the concept of 'determinism' displays the fact that natural laws were presumed to rule over all natural processes. In a more restricted sense, the term boiled down to a mere presupposition of constant determinant causes for those processes, leaving aside any particular ontological principle, even stochastic. The history of the cell theory until around 1900 was dominated by a twofold conception of determinant causes. Along a reductionist trend, cells' structures and processes were supposed to be accounted for through their analysis into detailed partial mechanisms. But a more holistic approach tended to subsume those analytic means and the mechanism involved under a program of global functional determinations. When mitotic and meiotic sequences in nuclear replication were being unveiled and that neo-Mendelian genetics was being grafted onto cytology and embryology, a conception of strict determinism at the nuclear level, principally represented by Wilhelm Roux and August Weismann, would seem to rule unilaterally over the mosaic interpretation of the cleavage of blastomeres. But, as shown by E.B. Wilson, the contingent outcomes of cell division for developmental processes which observations and experiments revealed would induce the need to admit 'epigenetic' determinants that relativized the presumed 'preformation' of developmental phases by making room for an emergent order that the accidental circumstances of gene replication would trigger on.
Authors:
François Duchesneau
Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-4-21
Journal Detail:
Title:  Progress in biophysics and molecular biology     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1873-1732     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-4-30     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0401233     Medline TA:  Prog Biophys Mol Biol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Affiliation:
Département de Philosophie, Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128, succursale Centre-ville, Montréal, QC H3C 3J7, Canada.
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