Developmental Biology is the study of organisms’ life cycles from single cell to complex reproducing and aging multi-cellular organisms. It endeavours to explain phenomena such as: cellular differentiation (e.g. neurons vs. liver cells) and cellular aging, the development of gross morphology and anatomical structures (e.g. body shape and organs -eyes and limbs-), and the development of an organism as an integrated part of an eco-system (e.g. phenotypic plasticity). The philosophically relevant points, in addition to broader philosophy of science inquiries (e.g. confirmation and explanation) are those that have to do with the ontological status of biological kinds and with inter-level relations, specifically the integration of developmental biology with evolutionary biology and to a lesser extent, with ecology. Keeping this is in mind the subcategories within Developmental Biology can be grouped into three main themes: evolution(Evolutionary-Developmental Biology, Developmental Constraints and Process Structuralism)ecology (Ecological Developmental Biology, Epigenetic Inheritance, Nature vs. Nurture and Innateness) and ontology (Developmental Modularity, Developmental System Theory and Process Structuralism).
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David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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