Erkenntnis 76 (2):279-298 (2012)

Abstract
Two problems related to the biological identity of living beings are faced: the who-problem (which are the biological properties making that living being unique and different from the others?); the persistence-problem (what does it take for a living being to persist from a time to another?). They are discussed inside a molecular biology framework, which shows how epigenetics can be a good ground to provide plausible answers. That is, we propose an empirical solution to the who-problem and to the persistence-problem on the basis of the new perspectives opened by a molecular understanding of epigenetic processes. In particular, concerning the former, we argue that any living being is the result of the epigenetic processes that have regulated the expression of its genome; concerning the latter, we defend the idea that the criterion for the persistence of its identity is to be indicated in the continuity of those epigenetic processes. We also counteract possible objections, in particular (1) whether our approach has something to say at a metaphysical level; (2) how it could account for the passage from the two phenotypes of the parental gametes to the single phenotype of the zygote; (3) how it could account for the identity of derivatives of one living being that continue to live disjoined from that original living being; (4) how it could account for higher mental functions
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s10670-011-9308-9
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 62,242
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Theories and Things.W. V. O. Quine (ed.) - 1981 - Harvard University Press.

View all 34 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Der fortbestand Von lebewesen.Boris Hennig - 2007 - Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Philosophie 32 (1):81-91.
Aristotle on Beauty and Goodness in Nature.Christopher V. Mirus - 2012 - International Philosophical Quarterly 52 (1):79-97.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2011-07-14

Total views
82 ( #129,689 of 2,444,817 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #232,731 of 2,444,817 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes