David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2013)
Individuals are a prominent part of the biological world. Although biologists and philosophers of biology draw freely on the concept of an individual in articulating both widely accepted and more controversial claims, there has been little explicit work devoted to the biological notion of an individual itself. How should we think about biological individuals? What are the roles that biological individuals play in processes such as natural selection (are genes and groups also units of selection?), speciation (are species individuals?), and organismic development (do genomes code for organisms)? Much of our discussion here will focus on organisms as a central kind of biological individual, and that discussion will raise broader questions about the nature of the biological world, for example, about its complexity, its organization, and its relation to human thought.
|Keywords||organisms philosophy of biology genes individuals natural kinds homeostatic property cluster view evolution of individuals group selection superorganisms pluralism|
|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
Steven French (2011). Shifting to Structures in Physics and Biology: A Prophylactic for Promiscuous Realism. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 42 (2):164-173.
Ellen Clarke (2012). Plant Individuality: A Solution to the Demographer's Dilemma. Biology and Philosophy 27 (3):321-361.
Matthew J. Barker (2013). Biological Explanations, Realism, Ontology, and Categories (Reviewing J. Dupré, Processes of Life: Essays in the Philosophy of Biology). Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):617-622.
Similar books and articles
Robert A. Wilson (2005). Genes and the Agents of Life: The Individual in the Fragile Sciences, Biology. Cambridge University Press.
Crawford L. Elder (2008). Biological Species Are Natural Kinds. Southern Journal of Philosophy 46 (3):339-362.
Ronald de Sousa (2005). Biological Individuality. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 5 (2):195-218.
Carmen Sapienza (2010). Selection Does Operate Primarily on Genes : In Defense of the Gene as the Unit of Selection. In Francisco José Ayala & Robert Arp (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Biology. Wiley-Blackwell Pub.. 127--140.
Denis M. Walsh (2003). Fit and Diversity: Explaining Adaptive Evolution. Philosophy of Science 70 (2):280-301.
Samir Okasha (2009). Individuals, Groups, Fitness and Utility: Multi-Level Selection Meets Social Choice Theory. Biology and Philosophy 24 (5):561-584.
Olivier Rieppel (2005). Monophyly, Paraphyly, and Natural Kinds. Biology and Philosophy 20 (2-3):465-487.
Frédéric Bouchard (2009). Understanding Colonial Traits Using Symbiosis Research and Ecosystem Ecology. Biological Theory 4 (3):240-246.
Michael Ruse (1987). Biological Species: Natural Kinds, Individuals, or What? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 38 (2):225-242.
Christopher D. Horvath (1997). Some Questions About Identifying Individuals: Failed Intuitions About Organisms and Species. Philosophy of Science 64 (4):654-668.
Samir Okasha (2006/2008). Evolution and the Levels of Selection. Oxford University Press.
Thomas A. C. Reydon (2009). Gene Names as Proper Names of Individuals: An Assessment. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (2):409-432.
Mark Ridley (1989). The Cladistic Solution to the Species Problem. Biology and Philosophy 4 (1):1-16.
Jerry Fodor (2008). Against Darwinism. Mind and Language 23 (1):1–24.
Robert A. Wilson (2004). Recent Work on Individualism in the Social, Behavioural, and Biological Sciences. Biology and Philosophy 19 (3):397-423.
Added to index2012-04-07
Total downloads13 ( #120,462 of 1,101,076 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #58,870 of 1,101,076 )
How can I increase my downloads?