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

Matěj Pudil

DOI: https://doi.org/10.46938/tv.2018.397


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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