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Autumn symposium

The Life of Forms & the Forms of Life

Autumn symposium 13-14 October 2011
p. 47

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1Excerpts from the talks of Jean-Pierre Changeux, Philippe Descola, Antoine Compagnon, John Scheid, and François-Bernard Mâche.

2This symposium was devoted to the notion of “form” in a multidisciplinary context ranging from its definition in the philosophies of Plato and Aristotle, its mathematical applications, its origins with the structure of the atom and the genesis of life, and its application in molecular and supra-molecular chemistry, to the morphogenesis of living organisms and its consequences in psychology and linguistics, anthropology and the arts. These debates have afforded an opportunity to re-examine the question of intelligent design, of Turing’s laws, of Claude Lévi-Strauss’ structuralism and of Henri Focillon's observations – from which the title “The Life of Forms” was taken – as well as those made by André Chastel in Fables, Forms and Figures.

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« The Life of Forms & the Forms of Life », La lettre du Collège de France [En ligne], 7 | 2015, mis en ligne le 02 novembre 2015, consulté le 22 janvier 2019. URL :

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