Threefoldness in Humans and Mammals

Toward a Biology of Form

Threefoldness in Humans and Mammals
Wolfgang Schad By (author)
Catherine E. Creeger Translated by
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Adonis Press

Limited ***

6.5 X 9.3 in
1327 pg

SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Zoology / Mammals
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Zoology / General
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Biological Diversity


2-Volume Slip-cased set

The result of over 50 years of research, Threefoldness in Humans and Mammals is the beautiful, authorized edition of Wolfgang Schad’s life’s work. In chapter after chapter of this monumental two-volume work, Schad demonstrates in detail how the dynamic concept of the threefold organism—first described by Rudolf Steiner a century ago—sheds new light on aspects of mammals, including size, form, coloration, physiology, embryonic development, behavior, and habitat. Indeed, he shows how the threefoldness of the organism—comprised of the polarity of nerve-sense and metabolic-limb systems and the mediating circulatory-respiratory system—is a key to understanding the extraordinary diversity of our closest animal relatives.

Reading this book, we experience a growing sense of satisfaction—even wonder—realizing that each species, through its unique constitution, actually explains itself, that right down to specific features such as dentition and coloration, it is a unique embodiment of the threefold organization. In addition, we begin to experience the threefold organism itself—not as an abstract, rigid thought construct that allows us to determine a mammal's taxonomy, but as a creative lawfulness that comes to one-sided expression in each species.

Thus, Wolfgang Schad follows in the footsteps of Goethe, who said of his scientific pursuits: “The ultimate goal would be to grasp that everything in the realm of fact is already theory.... Let’s not look for something behind the phenomena—they themselves are the theory.”

In the first volume, a masterful, comprehensive description of the threefold human organism lays the foundation for an in-depth consideration of the most familiar groups of mammals, including stunning chapters on antelopes and deer with their horns and antlers, as well as a concluding chapter on mammals’ intimate relationship with their natural environment. 

The second volume begins with chapters on the more primitive mammals and continues with studies of mammalian embryology, milk, emotional life, and relationship to death. The author then returns to the theme of human threefoldness in the final chapter. The balanced threefoldness of the human organism contrasts with its extraordinarily diverse, though one-sided, expressions in the mammals, which in turn emphasize aspects of our own humanity. A growing awareness of this intimate reciprocal relationship leads to a deepening empathy for our animal brothers and sisters.

The reader will do well to begin with the first chapters in volume 1, which introduce the main recurring motifs and build throughout the book. Although the content includes a great deal of specialized knowledge, it is presented in language accessible to the general reader. The text is richly illustrated with well-chosen photographs and drawings. Numerous diagrams illumine the dynamic interrelationships within various groups of mammals. 

This two-volume set is protected in a handsome slip case. In both form and content, this is a classic edition of a groundbreaking work that should find its place in every home, school, biology department, and library.

C O N T E N T S:


From the Preface to the 2012 German Edition
Publisher’s Acknowledgments

1. Motive, Method, and Theme
2. The Threefold Human Organism
3. Threefoldness in the Higher Mammals
4. The Carnivores
5. Cetaceans: Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises
6. The Rodents
7. The Ungulates: An Overview
8. The Horned Mammals: Cattle, Goats, and Sheep
9. The Horned Mammals: Antelopes
10. The Antlered Mammals: Deer
11. The Giraffes
12. The Environment as Organism


Introduction to Volume 2

13. The Primitive Mammals
14. The Insectivores and Primates
15. The Bats
16. The Xenarthrans and Pangolins
17. The Lagomorphs, and the Elephants and their Relatives 
18. Introduction to Mammalian Embryology 
19. Mammalian Embryonic Membranes and Placentation (Heinrich Brettschneider)
20. Milk
21. Death in Mammals
22. The Emotional Life of Mammals
23. Human Threefoldness

Illustration Sources
Species index
The Authors


“Wolfgang Schad’s book Man and Mammals was a revelation when I first read it some years ago. Since then it has continued to inspire my work in palaeobiology and evolutionary science. This updated edition, with a new title and two very fine chapters on mammalian embryology, is very welcome.                                                                          

“Anyone who seriously follows Schad’s arguments will understand that this book is by no means a completed project. It is a foundation for further research into the animal kingdom using the methodology of Goethean science, which Schad describes in an early chapter. The book is very detailed, but written such that the information is accessible to general readers as well as the open-minded specialist.                                   

“I highly recommend this insightful approach to zoological research.”Dr. Judyth Sassoon, School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol

“Wolfgang Schad’s genius demonstrates a compelling way to understand mammal biology, recognizing each well-known group as a larger ‘relational organism’ within its family, class, and biosphere environment. Brimming with warmth and wisdom born of a lifetime of all-embracing study and affection for the familiar class to which we humans belong, Schad’s insights are revolutionary and paradigm-changing. He sees what detached analysis so often misses, because it is right before our eyes: namely that each species’ morphology, physiology, behavior, even color and reproduction, is an organically understandable expression of its organized constitution, no less integrated within Class or superorganism Mammalia than our organs are within our body, or mammals within the biosphere.” Dr. Martin Lockley, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Colorado Denver

“In this monumental work, Wolfgang Schad applies Goethe’s dynamic way of seeing and thinking, further elaborated by Rudolf Steiner’s threefold principle, to the morphology, physiology, embryology, diversity, and ecology of mammals.

“In recent years, in partial response to the explosive development of molecular biology, there has been a call to return to studying organisms as they present themselves to our direct experience. This is a well-considered invitation to look more comprehensively at the living organism from multiple perspectives in an effort to answer questions left in the dark by gene-centered research programs. For example, we still cannot satisfactorily explain what constitutes the coherence of an organism, what guides developmental processes, how the genotype is translated into the phenotype or how anatomical structures and organs typically grow where they’re supposed to grow, in the right dimensions, and in the right configurations. 

“Clearly, this is an exciting time in biology, and there are numerous theoretical and experimental developments, which include the findings of heterochrony, epigenetics, evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo), gene networks, and developmental trade-offs/compensations. Each of these calls for a new synthesis that integrates comparative morphology, physiology, and the complex findings of analytical anatomy and molecular biology. Schad’s work is a compelling answer to this call.

“We are so fortunate, and I am personally deeply grateful, that Wolfgang Schad has made the effort to share the fruits of his life’s work in a new, expanded, updated, and accessible format. There is enough between the covers of these two volumes to stimulate thought, research, and application by another generation or two.”Dr. Mark Riegner, Environmental Studies, Prescott College, Prescott, Arizona

Author Bio

WOLFGANG SCHAD is Professor Emeritus at the University of Witten/Herdecke, Germany. Born in southern Germany in 1935, he studied biology, chemistry, and education before becoming a science teacher in 1962 at the Goetheschule (Waldorf School) in Pforzheim. From 1975 until 1991, he taught at the Seminar for Waldorf Education in Stuttgart and, in 1992, was appointed head of the Department of Evolutionary Biology and Morphology at the University of Witten/Herdecke, a position he held until retiring in 2005.