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  1. Autonomy in Evolution: From Minimal to Complex Life.Kepa Ruiz-Mirazo & Alvaro Moreno - 2012 - Synthese 185 (1):21-52.
    Our aim in the present paper is to approach the nature of life from the perspective of autonomy, showing that this perspective can be helpful for overcoming the traditional Cartesian gap between the physical and cognitive domains. We first argue that, although the phenomenon of life manifests itself as highly complex and multidimensional, requiring various levels of description, individual organisms constitute the core of this multifarious phenomenology. Thereafter, our discussion focuses on the nature of the organization of individual living entities, (...)
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  • Where Does Pattee’s “How Does a Molecule Become a Message?” Belong in the History of Biosemiotics?Jon Umerez - 2009 - Biosemiotics 2 (3):269-290.
    Recalling the title of Yoxen’s classical paper on the influence of Schrödinger’s book, I analyze the role that the work of H. Pattee might have played, if any, in the development of Biosemiotics. I take his 1969 paper “How does a molecule become a message?” (Developmental Biology Supplement) as a first target due to several circumstances that make it especially salient. On the one hand, even if Pattee has obviously developed further his ideas on later papers, the significance of this (...)
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  • Organizational Requirements for Multicellular Autonomy: Insights From a Comparative Case Study.Argyris Arnellos, Alvaro Moreno & Kepa Ruiz-Mirazo - 2014 - Biology and Philosophy 29 (6):851-884.
    In this paper we explore the organizational conditions underlying the emergence of organisms at the multicellular level. More specifically, we shall propose a general theoretical scheme according to which a multicellular organism is an ensemble of cells that effectively regulates its own development through collective mechanisms of control of cell differentiation and cell division processes. This theoretical result derives from the detailed study of the ontogenetic development of three multicellular systems and, in particular, of their corresponding cell-to-cell signaling networks. The (...)
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  • Hidden Concepts in the History of Origins-of-Life Studies.Carlos Mariscal, Ana Barahona, Nathanael Aubert-Kato, Arsev Umur Aydinoglu, Stuart Bartlett, María Luz Cárdenas, Kuhan Chandru, Carol E. Cleland, Benjamin T. Cocanougher, Nathaniel Comfort, Athel Cornish-Boden, Terrence W. Deacon, Tom Froese, Donato Giovanelli, John Hernlund, Piet Hut, Jun Kimura, Marie-Christine Maurel, Nancy Merino, Alvaro Julian Moreno Bergareche, Mayuko Nakagawa, Juli Pereto, Nathaniel Virgo, Olaf Witkowski & H. James Cleaves Ii - 2019 - Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres 1.
    In this review, we describe some of the central philosophical issues facing origins-of-life research and provide a targeted history of the developments that have led to the multidisciplinary field of origins-of-life studies. We outline these issues and developments to guide researchers and students from all fields. With respect to philosophy, we provide brief summaries of debates with respect to (1) definitions (or theories) of life, what life is and how research should be conducted in the absence of an accepted theory (...)
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  • The Theory of Increasing Autonomy in Evolution: A Proposal for Understanding Macroevolutionary Innovations.Bernd Rosslenbroich - 2009 - Biology and Philosophy 24 (5):623-644.
    Attempts to explain the origin of macroevolutionary innovations have been only partially successful. Here it is proposed that the patterns of major evolutionary transitions have to be understood first, before it is possible to further analyse the forces behind the process. The hypothesis is that major evolutionary innovations are characterized by an increase in organismal autonomy, in the sense of emancipation from the environment. After a brief overview of the literature on this subject, increasing autonomy is defined as the evolutionary (...)
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  • Evolution Unbound: Releasing the Arrow of Complexity.Kevin B. Korb & Alan Dorin - 2011 - Biology and Philosophy 26 (3):317-338.
    The common opinion has been that evolution results in the continuing development of more complex forms of life, generally understood as more complex organisms. The arguments supporting that opinion have recently come under scrutiny and been found wanting. Nevertheless, the appearance of increasing complexity remains. So, is there some sense in which evolution does grow complexity? Artificial life simulations have consistently failed to reproduce even the appearance of increasing complexity, which poses a challenge. Simulations, as much as scientific theories, are (...)
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  • Modelling Early Transitions Toward Autonomous Protocells.Benjamin John Shirt-Ediss - unknown
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  • Synthetic Biology: Challenging Life in Order to Grasp, Use, or Extend It.Kepa Ruiz-Mirazo & Alvaro Moreno - 2013 - Biological Theory 8 (4):376-382.
    In this short contribution we explore the historical roots of recent synthetic approaches in biology and try to assess their real potential, as well as identify future hurdles or the reasons behind some of the main difficulties they currently face. We suggest that part of these difficulties might not be just the result of our present lack of adequate technical skills or understanding, but could spring directly from the nature of the biological phenomenon itself. In particular, if life is conceived (...)
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  • The Problem of the Emergence of Functional Diversity in Prebiotic Evolution.Alvaro Moreno & Kepa Ruiz-Mirazo - 2009 - Biology and Philosophy 24 (5):585-605.
    Since Darwin it is widely accepted that natural selection (NS) is the most important mechanism to explain how biological organisms—in their amazing variety—evolve and, therefore, also how the complexity of certain natural systems can increase over time, creating ever new functions or functional structures/relationships. Nevertheless, the way in which NS is conceived within Darwinian Theory already requires an open, wide enough, functional domain where selective forces may act. And, as the present paper will try to show, this becomes even more (...)
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