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Towards A Philosophy Of The Polyp

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Chapter Summary

Non-medical polyps are microscopical forms of life consisting of a tubular body, ranging from 1mm to 20mm, secured by a simple adhesive foot. Indeed it was not until 1740 that polyps were known to be animals at all. This was discovered by Swiss naturalist Abraham Trembley. His obsession with the micro-organism led to the remarkable discovery that freshwater polyps could regenerate their heads and feet, and if cut into a few pieces, all of them would regenerate to form new individuals. Trembley also discovered that the polyps were able to reproduce asexually through a process that he likened to budding in plants, the off spring emerging progressively from the body of the parents like an off shoot of a branch. Lange's History of Materialism was one of the young Friedrich Nietzsche's favourite books and from it he was to develop what Brian Domino has called a 'polyp psychology'.

Keywords: non-medical polyps; polyp psychology

10.1163/ej.9789004175808.i-382.60
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