David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Biology and Philosophy 20 (2-3):365-399 (2005)
Since the discovery of the double helical structure of DNA, the standard account of the inheritance of features has been in terms of DNA-copying and DNA-transmission. This theory is just a version of the old theory according to which the inheritance of features is explained by the transfer at conception of some developmentally privileged material from parents to offspring. This paper does the following things: (1) it explains what the inheritance of features is; (2) it explains how the DNA-centric theory emerged; (3) it clarifies the relation between the DNA-centric theory and the ‘unfolding’ theory of development; (4) it argues that (given what we now know about developmental processes and genetic activity) the DNA-centric theory should be abandoned in favour of a pluralistic (but not holistic) theory of the inheritance of features. According to this pluralistic theory, the reliable reoccurrence of phenotypes must be explained by appealing not only to processes responsible for the reliable reoccurrence of genetic developmental factors but also to processes responsible for the reliable reoccurrence (or persistence) of nongenetic developmental factors.
|Keywords||Development Environment Genetic Heredity Information Inheritance Nongenetic Specificity|
|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
Giovanni Boniolo & Giuseppe Testa (2012). The Identity of Living Beings, Epigenetics, and the Modesty of Philosophy. Erkenntnis 76 (2):279-298.
Valeria Mosini (2013). Proteins, the Chaperone Function and Heredity. Biology and Philosophy 28 (1):53-74.
Similar books and articles
Devin Henry (2006). Aristotle on the Mechanisms of Inheritance. Journal of the History of Biology 39 (3):425-455.
J. F. Horty, R. H. Thomason & D. S. Touretzky (1990). A Sceptical Theory of Inheritance in Nonmonotonic Semantic Networks. Artificial Intelligence 42:311-348.
Tobias Uller (2010). The Price Equation and Extended Inheritance. Philosophy & Theory in Biology 2 (20130604).
Carla E. Kary (1982). Can Darwinian Inheritance Be Extended From Biology to Epistemology? PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1982:356 - 369.
Paul Griffiths & Russell Gray, The Developmental Systems Perspective: Organism-Environment Systems as Units of Development and Evolution.
James Griesemer (2000). Development, Culture, and the Units of Inheritance. Philosophy of Science 67 (3):368.
Francesca Merlin (2009). On Griffiths and Gray's Concept of Expanded and Diffused Inheritance. Biological Theory 5 (3):206-215.
Matteo Mameli (2004). Nongenetic Selection and Nongenetic Inheritance. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (1):35-71.
M. Richards (2001). How Distinctive is Genetic Information? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 32 (4):663-687.
Ehud Lamm, Inheritance Systems. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2012 Edition).
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads21 ( #94,387 of 1,679,365 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #183,761 of 1,679,365 )
How can I increase my downloads?