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Exceeding Our GraspScience, History, and the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives$
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P. Kyle Stanford

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195174083

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195174089.001.0001

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 August Weismann's Theory of the Germ‐Plasm

 August Weismann's Theory of the Germ‐Plasm

(p.105) 5 August Weismann's Theory of the Germ‐Plasm
Exceeding Our Grasp

P. Kyle Stanford (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

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

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