In Daniel J. Nicholson & John A. Dupre (eds.), Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology (2018)

Authors
Daniel J. Nicholson
Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research
John Dupre
University of Exeter
Abstract
This chapter argues that scientific and philosophical progress in our understanding of the living world requires that we abandon a metaphysics of things in favour of one centred on processes. We identify three main empirical motivations for adopting a process ontology in biology: metabolic turnover, life cycles, and ecological interdependence. We show how taking a processual stance in the philosophy of biology enables us to ground existing critiques of essentialism, reductionism, and mechanicism, all of which have traditionally been associated with substance ontology. We illustrate the consequences of embracing an ontology of processes in biology by considering some of its implications for physiology, genetics, evolution, and medicine. And we attempt to locate the subsequent chapters of the book in relation to the position we defend.
Keywords Process ontology  Philosophy of Biology  Process metaphysics
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References found in this work BETA

Physicalism, or Something Near Enough.Jaegwon Kim - 2005 - Princeton University Press.
Scientific Essentialism.Brian Ellis - 2001 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Organisms, activity, and being: on the substance of process ontology.Christopher J. Austin - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (2):1-21.
Corporeal composition.Stuart Glennan - forthcoming - Synthese:1-24.

View all 14 citations / Add more citations

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