Ontological butchery: Organism concepts and biological generalizations

Philosophy of Science 67 (3):311 (2000)
Abstract
Biology lacks a central organism concept that unambiguously marks the distinction between organism and non-organism because the most important questions about organisms do not depend on this concept. I argue that the two main ways to discover useful biological generalizations about multicellular organization--the study of homology within multicellular lineages and of convergent evolution across lineages in which multicellularity has been independently established--do not require what would have to be a stipulative sharpening of an organism concept
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Christopher Belshaw (2010). Animals, Identity and Persistence. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (3):401 - 419.
Jonathan Birch (2012). Social Revolution. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 27 (4):571-581.
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