Inherited representations are read in development

Abstract
Recent theoretical work has identified a tightly-constrained sense in which genes carry representational content. Representational properties of the genome are founded in the transmission of DNA over phylogenetic time and its role in natural selection. However, genetic representation is not just relevant to questions of selection and evolution. This paper goes beyond existing treatments and argues for the heterodox view that information generated by a process of selection over phylogenetic time can be read in ontogenetic time, in the course of individual development. Recent results in evolutionary biology, drawn both from modelling work, and from experimental and observational data, support a role for genetic representation in explaining individual ontogeny: both genetic representations and environmental information are read by the mechanisms of development, in an individual, so as to lead to adaptive phenotypes. Furthermore, in some cases there appears to have been selection between individuals that rely to different degrees on the two sources of information. Thus, the theory of representation in inheritance systems like the genome is much more than just a coherent reconstruction of information talk in biology. Genetic representation is a property with considerable explanatory utility.
Keywords genetic information  genetic representation  evolution  development  innateness  developmental systems theory  natural selection  Lorenz  Lehrman  inherited information
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 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
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA
    Ulrich E. Stegmann (2009). Dna, Inference, and Information. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (1):1-17.
    Citations of this work BETA
    Similar books and articles
    Nicholas Shea (2012). New Thinking, Innateness and Inherited Representation. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 367:2234-2244.
    Matteo Mameli (2004). Nongenetic Selection and Nongenetic Inheritance. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (1):35-71.
    Masatoshi Nei (2007). The New Mutation Theory of Phenotypic Evolution. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 104 (30):12335-12242.
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2011-10-01

    Total downloads

    23 ( #63,390 of 1,089,047 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,722 of 1,089,047 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


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