Classics of Biology

By August Pi Suñer; Charles M. Stern | Go to book overview

CHAPTER I
MATTER AND ENERGY IN LIFE

AGENT AND ACTION

PRIMITIVE man dissociates his idea of motive agent or impelling instrument from that of the body set in motion. Direct observation in fact teaches us that for a body to start moving some force must be applied to it. This idea was first scientifically stated by Aristotle and upon it was founded the rational mechanics of Galileo and Newton. Man does not intuitively perceive that movement may be but one of many properties of matter, inherent in the manner in which such matter exists.

Animate beings are indeed distinguished through their very capacity for motion. An animal moves and gives off heat or even light in some form; every living body is capable of growth. Not so very long ago, in 1907, Strecker in his Der Kausalitätsprinzip in der Biologie (Cause and Effect in Biology) was still able to say: "Every organic body is a form of activity, whilst a purely chemical or physical object can do nothing more than be set in motion." Since it is impossible for a thing to become animated by itself alone, some motive principle special to living matter must be in existence.

Throughout the ages Biology has been vitalistic. Looking back through the history of physiological knowledge we see the continuous passing-on of the idea of a breath, spirit, ether or animating principle acting upon pure matter, that is, upon a passive immovable substance possessed of weight but incapable of action by itself alone. In the course of time these ideas have taken many different forms, though all are essentially similar.

Whence springs the activity present in live organisms? One of the most important steps in the progress of Biology was signalized by proof that the physical laws governing living matter are the same as those applying to the inorganic world.


COMBUSTION

It is essential to take an objective view of matter and of the Universe in general. Certain bodies burn up. The Greek philosophers, Aristotle

-1-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Classics of Biology
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 337

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.