David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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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|
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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 44 (4):617-622.
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