Gene names as proper names of individuals: An assessment

According to a recent suggestion, the names of gene taxa should be conceived of as referring to individuals with concrete genes as their parts, just as the names of biological species are often understood as denoting individuals with organisms as their parts. Although prima facie this suggestion might advance the debate on gene concepts in a similar way as the species-are-individuals thesis advanced the debate on species concepts, I argue that the principal arguments in support of the gene-individuality thesis are much less compelling than the parallel arguments in the species case. In addition, I argue that the notion of biological function invoked in the gene-individuality thesis (selected effect) is not the one that biologists actually use when individuating genes. Contra the gene-individuality thesis, I argue that gene names refer to kinds, defined primarily (though not exclusively) by causal-role functions
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA
    John Dupre (2004). Understanding Contemporary Genomics. Perspectives on Science 12 (3):320-338.
    John Dupré (2004). Understanding Contemporary Genomics. Perspectives on Science 12 (3):320-338.
    Raphael Falk (1986). What is a Gene? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 17 (2):133-173.
    L. R. Franklin (2007). Bacteria, Sex, and Systematics. Philosophy of Science 74 (1):69-95.

    View all 20 references

    Citations of this work BETA
    Similar books and articles

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    18 ( #78,313 of 1,089,047 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    2 ( #42,773 of 1,089,047 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.