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morphogenetic fieldmorphogenetisches Feld (ger.)

  • Originally: an organizing mechanism, esp. a kind of graded field of force, operating in a developing embryo. Later also: a region of an embryo that will form a specific anatomical structure. (OED)

    It seems to me that this view resembles [...] the theory of the morphe or the morphogenetic field.

    Driesch, H. (1929). The Science & Philosophy of the Organism: 275; not in Driesch, H. (1909/28). Philosophie des Organischen.


    The “concept of organism” seems to be forcing itself upon our attention from three directions: First, from that of embryology and physiology. The notion of a morphogenetic “field” in Gurwitsch […] and Weiss […] is highly symptomatic of this movement and deserves attention.

    Woodger, J.H. (1930). The “concept of organism” and the relation between embryology and genetics. Part I. Quart. Rev. Biol. 5, 1-22: 21.