David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Biology and Philosophy 22 (3):313-331 (2007)
There is ongoing controversy as to whether the genome is a representing system (Sterelny K., <span class='Hi'>Smith</span> K.C. and Dickson M. 1996. Biol. Philos. 11: 377–403; Griffiths P.E. 2001. Philos. Sci. 68: 394–412). Although it is widely recognised that DNA carries information, both correlating with and coding for various outcomes, neither of these implies that the genome has semantic properties like correctness or satisfaction conditions (Godfrey-<span class='Hi'>Smith</span> P. 2002. In: Wolenski J. and Kajania-Placek K. (eds), In the Scope of Logic, Methodology, and the Philosophy of Sciences, Vol. II. Kluwer, Dordrecht, pp. 387–400). Here a modified version of teleosemantics is applied to the genome to show that it does indeed have semantic properties – there is representation in the genome. The account differs in three respects from previous attempts to apply teleosemantics to genes. It emphasises the role of the consumer of representations (in addition to their mode of production). It rejects the standard assumption that genetic representation can be used to explain the course of an organism’s development. And it identifies the explanatory role played by representational properties of the genome. A striking consequence of this account is that other inheritance systems could also be representational. Thus, a version of the parity thesis is accepted (Griffiths P.E. 2001. Philos. Sci. 68: 394–412). However, the criteria for being an inheritance system are demanding, so semantic properties are not ubiquitous.
|Keywords||Philosophy Evolutionary Biology Philosophy of Biology|
|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
Eva Jablonka, Marion J. Lamb & Anna Zeligowski (2006). Evolution in Four Dimensions: Genetic, Epigenetic, Behavioral, and Symbolic Variation in the History of Life. A Bradford Book.
Ruth Garrett Millikan (2000). On Clear and Confused Ideas: An Essay About Substance Concepts. Cambridge University Press.
Claude E. Shannon & Warren Weaver (1949). The Mathematical Theory of Communication. University of Illinois Press.
Lenny Moss (2002). What Genes Can't Do. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
Citations of this work BETA
Carl T. Bergstrom & Martin Rosvall (2011). The Transmission Sense of Information. Biology and Philosophy 26 (2):159-176.
David Haig (2012). The Strategic Gene. Biology and Philosophy 27 (4):461-479.
Nicholas Shea (2007). Consumers Need Information: Supplementing Teleosemantics with an Input Condition. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (2):404-435.
Rosa Cao (2012). A Teleosemantic Approach to Information in the Brain. Biology and Philosophy 27 (1):49-71.
Arnon Levy (2011). Information in Biology: A Fictionalist Account. Noûs 45 (4):640-657.
Similar books and articles
Mark H. Bickhard (2004). The Dynamic Emergence of Representation. In Hugh Clapin (ed.), Representation in Mind. Elsevier 71--90.
Ehud Lamm (2011). The Metastable Genome: A Lamarckian Organ in a Darwinian World? In Eva Jablonka & Snait Gissis (eds.), Transformations of Lamarckism: from subtle fluids to molecular biology. MIT Press
Francesca Merlin (2009). On Griffiths and Gray's Concept of Expanded and Diffused Inheritance. Biological Theory 5 (3):206-215.
Ehud Lamm, Inheritance Systems. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2012 Edition).
P. X. Monaghan (2010). A Novel Interpretation of Plato's Theory of Forms. Metaphysica 11 (1):63-78.
Ehud Lamm (2010). Genes Versus Genomes: The Role of Genome Organization in Evolution. Dissertation, Tel Aviv University
Nicholas Shea (2012). Genetic Representation Explains the Cluster of Innateness-Related Properties. Mind and Language 27 (4):466-493.
Nicholas Shea (2012). Inherited Representations Are Read in Development. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (1):1-31.
M. Bizzarri, A. Cucina, F. Conti & F. D’Anselmi (2008). Beyond the Oncogene Paradigm: Understanding Complexity in Cancerogenesis. Acta Biotheoretica 56 (3):173-196.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads45 ( #74,438 of 1,725,443 )
Recent downloads (6 months)16 ( #47,089 of 1,725,443 )
How can I increase my downloads?