An organism was to him something controlled by a formative organizing principle.
The formative principle or force of the world is said to contain the several rational germinal forms of things.
This modification is important, because it transfers the formative influence from the plastic substances to the protoplasm, suggesting that, the diverse constituents are produced (whether spontaneously or as the result of stimulation) as secretions by the protoplasm.
Beyond this, he eloquently pleaded the cause of painting as a distinct art, which Lessing in his desire to mark off the formative arts from poetry and music had confounded with sculpture.
The line of inquiry has thus been directed to ascertaining what formative relation subsists among these species and genera, the last link of the argument reaching to the relation between man and the lower creatures preceding him in time.