Mind's Eye: Agnes Arber on the Topic of Biological Viewpoint

Matěj Pudil


The study reflects the philosophical analysis of scientific research carried out by the botanist Agnes Arber in the 1950s. Her concept entails a valuable contribution to the question of the context of scientific discovery and the process of its rationalization in biological disciplines. I will try to show that her considerations are fundamentally phenomenological, and thus the comparison with the thoughts of Maurice Merleau-Ponty on the topic of corporeal nature of senses is useful. Such an interpretation suggests that Arber, similarly to Merleau-Ponty (though using different terminology), considers phenomena not as objects that can be examined separately, but as representing a phenomenal field in which phenomena arise in the con-text of past experience. According to her, the orientation in the subject of a study is a question of equilibrium, which a researcher actively seeks.


Agnes Arber; Maurice Merleau-Ponty; corporeality; perception; phenomenology; natural sciences

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TEORIE VĚDY / THEORY OF SCIENCE – journal for interdisciplinary studies of science is published twice a year by the Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Centre for Science, Technology, and Society Studies). ISSN 1210-0250 (Print) ISSN 1804-6347 (Online) MK ČR E 18677 web: http://teorievedy.flu.cas.cz /// email: teorievedy@flu.cas.cz