Form and Function in the Molecularization of Biology

  • Sahotra Sarkar
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 182)


During the first few decades of this century European art finally discovered the power of formalism which had long been known to many other societies, particularly those of central and southern Africa which Europe, in its colonial frenzy, had scornfully designated as “primitive”.1 The new formalism came to dominate, however briefly, one medium after another, from painting through sculpture to photography and architecture.2 No medium except those that, by convention, necessarily had “a story to tell” was immune to formalism’s invasion and even these, including the novel and the new medium of cinema, did not go completely unscathed. Formalism did not play itself out in exactly the same way in all media. However, what is remarkable is that, from Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee in painting, to Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe in architecture, early 20th century formalism transcended the differences between media and can be characterized by a few basic ideas.


Molecular Biology Genetic Code Formal Element Human Genome Project Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sahotra Sarkar
    • 1
  1. 1.MITMcGill University and Dibner InstituteUSA

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