This paper takes an organicist perspective of Jan Swammerdam's conception of metamorphis which allows us to identify a continuity betweem W. Harvey's epigenetism and G.W. Leibniz' preformationism – two historically opposed perspectives. In line with this reading, I provide a critical assessment of the different preformationist interpretations of Swammerdam. The thesis that I defend in this paper is that the idea of preformation does not imply so much a theory about the origin of the embryo but a model of ontogenetic development that cannot be catalogued as mechanistic or as vitalist.
How to Cite
Jan Swammerdam, metamorphosis, preformationism, epigenesis, organicism, William Harvey, G.W. Leibniz
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