Selfhood, immunity, and the biological imagination: The thought of Frank MacFarlane Burnet [Book Review]

Biology and Philosophy 15 (4):509-533 (2000)

Abstract
The language of self and nonself has had a prominent place inimmunology. This paper examines Frank Macfarlane Burnet's introductionof the language of selfhood into the science. The distinction betweenself and nonself was an integral part of Burnet's biological outlook– of his interest in the living organism in its totality, itsactivities, and interactions. We show the empirical and conceptualwork of the language of selfhood in the science. The relation betweenself and nonself tied into Burnet's ecological vision of host-parasiteinteraction. The idiom of selfhood also enabled Burnet to organizeand unify a diversity of immune phenomena. Rather than approach thelanguage of self and nonself as a bluntly imposed metaphor, we focuson its endogenous origins and immanent uses in immunology.
Keywords biological thought-style  immunology  self and nonself
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1006657124783
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References found in this work BETA

The Dialectical Biologist.Philip Kitcher, Richard Levins & Richard Lewontin - 1989 - Philosophical Review 98 (2):262.
Frank Macfarlane Burnet and the Immune Self.Alfred I. Tauber & Scott H. Podolsky - 1994 - Journal of the History of Biology 27 (3):531-573.
Organism and the Origins of Self.Alfred I. Tauber & Elias L. Khalil - 1994 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 16 (2):355.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Immune System and its Ecology.Alfred I. Tauber - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (2):224-245.
The Bacteriophage, its Role in Immunology: How Macfarlane Burnet's Phage Research Shaped His Scientific Style.Neeraja Sankaran - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 41 (4):367-375.
Immunity in Context.Alfred I. Tauber - 2016 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 31 (2):207-224.
The Bacteriophage, its Role in Immunology: How Macfarlane Burnet’s Phage Research Shaped His Scientific Style.Neeraja Sankaran - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 41 (4):367-375.

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