David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy of Science 67 (3):321 (2000)
Developmental biology has resurfaced in recent years, often without a clearly central role for the organism. The organism is pulled in divergent directions: on the one hand, there is an important body of work that emphasizes the role of the gene in development, as executing and controlling embryological change; on the other hand, there are more theoretical approaches under which the organism disappears as little more than an instance for testing biological generalizations. I press here for the ineliminability of the organism in developmental biology on explanatory grounds. I examine classical work concerned with growth and development, particularly in Drosophila and C. elegans. Some of this work is suggestive of modular development, and accordingly suggests a level below that of the organism as being explanatory. These are not the only type of case. There are other equally well-established results, which indicate greater integration in the developing organism. Though with a modular organization the organism can be thought of as made up of its constituent traits, and though the explanations of these traits may lie in terms of cells or genes, even with modular development the explanations of "genetic" differences require an appeal to the organism. With non-modular organization the organism has an even more central role. This does not mean that these genetic or cellular contributions are unreal in any way, or that development requires some sort of vitalistic contribution; but the genetic contributions make sense only as constituents of the organism, embedded in a larger organic context.
|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
Nicolas Bullot (2007). A Study in the Cognition of Individuals' Identity: Solving the Problem of Singular Cognition in Object and Agent Tracking. Consciousness and Cognition 16 (2):276-293.
Similar books and articles
Timo Jarvilehto (1999). The Theory of the Organism-Environment System: III. Role of Efferent Influences on Receptors in the Formation of Knowledge. Philosophical Explorations 34:90-100.
Robert Arp (2007). Evolution and Two Popular Proposals for the Definition of Function. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 38 (1):19 - 30.
Marshall Abrams (2007). Fitness and Propensity's Annulment? Biology and Philosophy 22 (1):115-130.
S. Matthew Liao (2010). Twinning, Inorganic Replacement, and the Organism View. Ratio 23 (1):59-72.
Jason Scott Robert, Constant Factors and Hedgeless Hedges: On Heuristics and Biases Developmental Biology.
Richard Lewontin, The Genotype/Phenotype Distinction. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Marshall Abrams (2009). Fitness “Kinematics”: Biological Function, Altruism, and Organism–Environment Development. Biology and Philosophy 24 (4):487-504.
Thomas Pradeu (2010). The Organism in Developmental Systems Theory. Biological Theory 5 (3):216-222.
Laura Nuño de la Rosa (2010). Becoming Organisms. The Development of Organisation and the Organisation of Development. History and Philosophy of Life Sciences 32:289-316.
Jack A. Wilson (2000). Ontological Butchery: Organism Concepts and Biological Generalizations. Philosophy of Science 67 (3):311.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads18 ( #194,217 of 1,790,118 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #168,313 of 1,790,118 )
How can I increase my downloads?