Nature S Machines

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Author: David E. Alexander
Publisher: Academic Press
ISBN: 0128498978
Size: 11.23 MB
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Nature S Machines by David E. Alexander


Original Title: Nature S Machines

Nature’s Machines: An Introduction to Organismal Biomechanics presents the fundamental principles of biomechanics in a concise, accessible way while maintaining necessary rigor. It covers the central principles of whole-organism biomechanics as they apply across the animal and plant kingdoms, featuring brief, tightly-focused coverage that does for biologists what H. M. Frost’s 1967 Introduction to Biomechanics did for physicians. Frequently encountered, basic concepts such as stress and strain, Young’s modulus, force coefficients, viscosity, and Reynolds number are introduced in early chapters in a self-contained format, making them quickly available for learning and as a refresher. More sophisticated, integrative concepts such as viscoelasticity or properties of hydrostats are covered in the later chapters, where they draw on information from multiple earlier sections of the book. Animal and plant biomechanics is now a common research area widely acknowledged by organismal biologists to have broad relevance. Most of the day-to-day activities of an animal involve mechanical processes, and to the extent that organisms are shaped by adaptive evolution, many of those adaptations are constrained and channelized by mechanical properties. The similarity in body shape of a porpoise and a tuna is no coincidence. Many may feel that they have an intuitive understanding of many of the mechanical processes that affect animals and plants, but careful biomechanical analyses often yield counterintuitive results: soft, squishy kelp may be better at withstanding pounding waves during storms than hard-shelled mollusks; really small swimmers might benefit from being spherical rather than streamlined; our bones can operate without breaking for decades, whereas steel surgical implants exhibit fatigue failures in a few months if not fully supported by bone. Offers organismal biologists and biologists in other areas a background in biomechanics to better understand the research literature and to explore the possibility of using biomechanics approaches in their own work Provides an introductory presentation of the everyday mechanical challenges faced by animals and plants Functions as recommended or required reading for advanced undergraduate biology majors taking courses in biomechanics, supplemental reading in a general organismal biology course, or background reading for a biomechanics seminar course

Machines Of Nature And Corporeal Substances In Leibniz

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Author: Justin E. H. Smith
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9789400700413
Size: 39.60 MB
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Machines Of Nature And Corporeal Substances In Leibniz by Justin E. H. Smith


Original Title: Machines Of Nature And Corporeal Substances In Leibniz

In recent decades, there has been much scholarly controversy as to the basic ontological commitments of the philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716). The old picture of his thought as strictly idealistic, or committed to the ultimate reduction of bodies to the activity of mind, has come under attack, but Leibniz's precise conceptualization of bodies, and the role they play in his system as a whole, is still the subject of much controversy. One thing that has become clear is that in order to understand the nature of body in Leibniz, and the role body plays in his philosophy, it is crucial to pay attention to the related concepts of organism and of corporeal substance, the former being Leibniz's account of the structure of living bodies (which turn out, for him, to be the only sort of bodies there are), and the latter being an inheritance from the Aristotelian hylomorphic tradition which Leibniz appropriates for his own ends. This volume brings together papers from many of the leading scholars of Leibniz's thought, all of which deal with the cluster of questions surrounding Leibniz's philosophy of body.

Darwin Machines And The Nature Of Knowledge

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Author: Henry C. Plotkin
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674192812
Size: 62.12 MB
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Darwin Machines And The Nature Of Knowledge by Henry C. Plotkin


Original Title: Darwin Machines And The Nature Of Knowledge

Bringing together evolutionary biology, psychology, and philosophy, Henry Plotkin presents a new science of knowledge that traces an unbreakable link between instinct and our ability to know. Since our ability to know our world depends primarily on what we call intelligence, intelligence must be understood as an extension of instinct. The capacity for knowledge is deeply rooted in our biology and, in a special sense, is shared by all living things.

Divine Machines

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Author: Justin E. H. Smith
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400838721
Size: 50.87 MB
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Divine Machines by Justin E. H. Smith


Original Title: Divine Machines

Though it did not yet exist as a discrete field of scientific inquiry, biology was at the heart of many of the most important debates in seventeenth-century philosophy. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the work of G. W. Leibniz. In Divine Machines, Justin Smith offers the first in-depth examination of Leibniz's deep and complex engagement with the empirical life sciences of his day, in areas as diverse as medicine, physiology, taxonomy, generation theory, and paleontology. He shows how these wide-ranging pursuits were not only central to Leibniz's philosophical interests, but often provided the insights that led to some of his best-known philosophical doctrines. Presenting the clearest picture yet of the scope of Leibniz's theoretical interest in the life sciences, Divine Machines takes seriously the philosopher's own repeated claims that the world must be understood in fundamentally biological terms. Here Smith reveals a thinker who was immersed in the sciences of life, and looked to the living world for answers to vexing metaphysical problems. He casts Leibniz's philosophy in an entirely new light, demonstrating how it radically departed from the prevailing models of mechanical philosophy and had an enduring influence on the history and development of the life sciences. Along the way, Smith provides a fascinating glimpse into early modern debates about the nature and origins of organic life, and into how philosophers such as Leibniz engaged with the scientific dilemmas of their era.

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