Between the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, Ernst Mach gave a profound criticism of mechanism, a scientific and philosophical position that he had maintained in his youth. Mach distinguishes between mechanical experiences, which are common to every man, and mechanical science, which instead aims to resolve every aspect of life in its principles and axioms. The mechanical principles – based on the concepts of matter, movement, force, space and time – are conditioned by metaphysical assumptions that allow us to understand neither the phenomena of physical world, nor the psychic and biological expressions of living beings. This persistence on the concept of phenomenal experience joins the Machian investigations to that of the Estonian biologist Jakob von Uexküll, who opposes the biological mechanism and highlights the “conformity to a plan” characterizing every form of life. However, Uexküll does not agree on neovitalism, as to him life does not resolve itself in an occult dimension beyond the phenomena, but develops on the basis of meanings that phenomena, as signs of experiences and relational structures, assume within the animal world, of which even the living human being, with its culture and its peculiar biological form, is an integral part.

Meccanicismo e realtà fenomenica nel mondo degli esseri viventi. Ernst Mach e Jakob von Uexküll

Luca Guidetti
Primo
2021

Abstract

Between the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, Ernst Mach gave a profound criticism of mechanism, a scientific and philosophical position that he had maintained in his youth. Mach distinguishes between mechanical experiences, which are common to every man, and mechanical science, which instead aims to resolve every aspect of life in its principles and axioms. The mechanical principles – based on the concepts of matter, movement, force, space and time – are conditioned by metaphysical assumptions that allow us to understand neither the phenomena of physical world, nor the psychic and biological expressions of living beings. This persistence on the concept of phenomenal experience joins the Machian investigations to that of the Estonian biologist Jakob von Uexküll, who opposes the biological mechanism and highlights the “conformity to a plan” characterizing every form of life. However, Uexküll does not agree on neovitalism, as to him life does not resolve itself in an occult dimension beyond the phenomena, but develops on the basis of meanings that phenomena, as signs of experiences and relational structures, assume within the animal world, of which even the living human being, with its culture and its peculiar biological form, is an integral part.
Luca Guidetti
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/827794
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