Journal of Philosophy 110 (8):413-435 (2013)
Biological theory demands a clear organism concept, but at present biologists cannot agree on one. They know that counting particular units, and not counting others, allows them to generate explanatory and predictive descriptions of evolutionary processes. Yet they lack a unified theory telling them which units to count. In this paper, I offer a novel account of biological individuality, which reconciles conflicting definitions of ‘organism’ by interpreting them as describing alternative realisers of a common functional role, and then defines individual organisms as essentially possessing some mechanisms that play this role.
|Keywords||Biological individuality organismality unit of selection|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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Citations of this work BETA
The Relation Between Kin and Multilevel Selection: An Approach Using Causal Graphs.S. Okasha - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (2):435-470.
Multi-Level Selection and the Explanatory Value of Mathematical Decompositions.Christopher Clarke - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (4):1025-1055.
Organisms or Biological Individuals? Combining Physiological and Evolutionary Individuality.Thomas Pradeu - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (6):797-817.
Levels of Selection in Biofilms: Multispecies Biofilms Are Not Evolutionary Individuals.Ellen Clarke - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (2):191-212.
Multi-Level Semiosis: A Paradigm of Emergent Innovation.Luis Emilio Bruni & Franco Giorgi - 2016 - Biosemiotics 9 (3):307-318.
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