Spinoza and Biology March 31, 2008 12:35 PMSubscribe
Public concern over ecological damage inflicted by human activity has led to growing recognition of the general importance of issues relating to biological science. Unfortunately, the dispute between creationists and upholders of the theory of evolution tends to overshadow public discussion of other more pertinent matters. Specifically, there are significant but relatively unpublicized initiatives underway to promote holistic approaches to biology. The Nature Institute in New York is one such initiative... ...providing instruction in holistic approaches to natural science based on the work of Rudolf Steiner, who based his approach on that of Goethe, who in turn was inspired by Spinoza. The centrality of Spinoza for biology is an issue of increasing interest, with Robert J. Richards arguing that Darwin was inspired by the Spinozist doctrines of Goethe and his contemporaries. Spinoza's holistic, naturalistic approach effectively bypasses the creationist-evolutionist controversy, and provides an ecologically sound basis for human activity.
For background, see the work of Robert J. Richards: