Biological Individuality: The Identity and Persistence of Living Entities

Cambridge University Press (1999)
Abstract
What makes a biological entity an individual? Jack Wilson shows that past philosophers have failed to explicate the conditions an entity must satisfy to be a living individual. He explores the reason for this failure and explains why we should limit ourselves to examples involving real organisms rather than thought experiments. This book explores and resolves paradoxes that arise when one applies past notions of individuality to biological examples beyond the conventional range, and presents a new analysis of identity and persistence. The book's main purpose is to bring together two lines of research, theoretical biology and metaphysics, which have dealt with the same subject in isolation from one another. Wilson explains a new theory about biological individuality which solves problems which cannot be addressed by either field alone. He presents a more fine-grained vocabulary of individuation based on diverse kinds of living things, allowing him to clarify previously muddled disputes about individuality in biology.
Keywords Biology Philosophy  Individuality
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Call number QH331.W555 1999
ISBN(s) 0521036887   0521624258   9780521624251
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L. R. Franklin-Hall (2010). Trashing Life's Tree. Biology and Philosophy 25 (4):689-709.

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