Monod argued that living beings are chemical and self-constructing machines. He acknowledged that “our understanding of the mechanisms of development is still very imperfect” (p. 52). Nonetheless he was clear that the “process of spontaneous and autonomous morphogenetic is based on stereospecific recognition properties of proteins”. I’m sure it is, but the question is whether proteins “animate and build living systems (p.52)”? Contra Monod, I’ve come to accept Kant’s view that life cannot be explained in mechanical terms (eg. see post on my Relational Psychiatry blog).
Even though the scientific and professional establishment tend to agree with Monod, it’s not just the human sciences, but also biology, that need to be anti-reductionist (see eg. another post from my Relational Psychiatry blog). The implication for psychiatry (see my Relational Psychiatry blog passim) and for medicine in general, is that it is not person-centred enough.