David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 38 (4):834-846 (2007)
Metagenomics is an emerging microbial systems science that is based on the large-scale analysis of the DNA of microbial communities in their natural environments. Studies of metagenomes are revealing the vast scope of biodiversity in a wide range of environments, as well as new functional capacities of individual cells and communities, and the complex evolutionary relationships between them. Our examination of this science focuses on the ontological implications of these studies of metagenomes and metaorganisms, and what they mean for common sense and philosophical understandings of multicellularity, individuality and organism. We show how metagenomics requires us to think in different ways about what human beings are and what their relation to the microbial world is. Metagenomics could also transform the way in which evolutionary processes are understood, with the most basic relationship between cells from both similar and different organisms being far more cooperative and less antagonistic than is widely assumed. In addition to raising fundamental questions about biological ontology, metagenomics generates possibilities for powerful technologies addressed to issues of climate, health and conservation. We conclude with reflections about process-oriented versus entity-oriented analysis in light of current trends towards systems approaches
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Carol E. Cleland (2013). Pluralism or Unity in Biology: Could Microbes Hold the Secret to Life? Biology and Philosophy 28 (2):189-204.
Similar books and articles
John Dupré & Maureen A. O’Malley (2007). Metagenomics and Biological Ontology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 38 (4):834-846.
with Maureen A. O'malley (2012). Metagenomics and Biological Ontology. In John Dupré (ed.), Processes of Life: Essays in the Philosophy of Biology. Oup Oxford.
Maureen O'Malley (2007). Exploratory Experimentation and Scientific Practice: Metagenomics and the Proteorhodopsin Case. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 29 (3):337 - 360.
David P. Hill, Barry Smith, Monica S. McAndrews-Hill & Judith A. Blake (2008). Gene Ontology Annotations: What They Mean and Where They Come From. BMC Bioinformatics( 9 (Suppl 5):S2.
Mariano Rodr´Iguez, Toward Using Bio-Ontologies in the Semantic Web: Trade-Offs Between Ontology Languages.
Maureen A. O'Malley (2009). Making Knowledge in Synthetic Biology: Design Meets Kludge. Biological Theory 4 (4):378-389.
Barry Smith (2005). The Logic of Biological Classification and the Foundations of Biomedical Ontology. In Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science. Proceedings of the 12th International Conference.
Jonathan Michael Kaplan & Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther (2013). Prisoners of Abstraction? The Theory and Measure of Genetic Variation, and the Very Concept of 'Race'. Biological Theory 7 (1):401-412.
Eric Bapteste & John Dupré (2013). Towards a Processual Microbial Ontology. Biology and Philosophy 28 (2):379-404.
Root Gorelick (2007). Werner Callebaut and John Collier—Editorial: Biological Information (Biological Theory 1: 221–223, 2006). Biological Theory 2 (2):180-182.
Jack Vromen (2004). Conjectural Revisionary Economic Ontology: Outline of an Ambitious Research Agenda for Evolutionary Economics. Journal of Economic Methodology 11 (2):213-247.
Barry Smith, Pierre Grenon & Louis Goldberg (2004). Biodynamic Ontology: Applying BFO in the Biomedical Domain. Studies in Health and Technology Informatics 102:20–38.
Kanti Lal Das & Anirban Mukherjee (eds.) (2008). Language and Ontology. Northern Book Centre.
Added to index2010-08-30
Total downloads12 ( #181,438 of 1,696,445 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #112,044 of 1,696,445 )
How can I increase my downloads?