The Problem of Biological Individuality

Biological Theory 5 (4):312-325 (2010)
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Abstract

Darwin’s classic ‘Origin of Species’ (Darwin 1859) described forces of selection acting upon individuals, but there remains a great deal of controversy about what exactly the status and definition of a biological individual is. Recently some authors have argued that the individual is dispensable – that an inability to pin it down is not problematic because little rests on it anyway. The aim of this paper is to show that there is a real problem of biological individuality, and an urgent need to arbitrate over the current plethora of solutions to it

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Ellen Clarke
University of Leeds