Chapter

 August Weismann's Theory of the Germ‐Plasm

P. Kyle Stanford

in Exceeding Our Grasp

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780195174083
Published online May 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199786367 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195174089.003.0005
  August Weismann's Theory of the Germ‐Plasm

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This chapter focuses on August Weismann's theory of the germ-plasm. It is argued that both Weismann's failure to conceive of any alternative to the disintegration of the idioplasm as the mechanism of ontogenetic differentiation and nuclear control, and his failure to conceive of any genuinely facultative capacity on the part of the germ-plasm suggest that Weismann never conceived of the quite general possibility that the germ-plasm could itself serve as what we might call a productive rather than an expendable resource for the cell and/or the organism.

Keywords: heredity; scientific theory; inheritance; Weismann

Chapter.  17085 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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