Biological individuality: the case of biofilms

Biology and Philosophy 28 (2):331-349 (2013)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

This paper examines David Hull’s and Peter Godfrey-Smith’s accounts of biological individuality using the case of biofilms. Biofilms fail standard criteria for individuality, such as having reproductive bottlenecks and forming parent-offspring lineages. Nevertheless, biofilms are good candidates for individuals. The nature of biofilms shows that Godfrey-Smith’s account of individuality, with its reliance on reproduction, is too restrictive. Hull’s interactor notion of individuality better captures biofilms, and we argue that it offers a better account of biological individuality. However, Hull’s notion of interactor needs more precision. We suggest some ways to make Hull’s notion of interactor and his account of individuality more precise. Generally, we maintain that biofilms are a good test case for theories of individuality, and a careful examination of biofilms furthers our understanding of biological individuality

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 89,408

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

The Problem of Biological Individuality.Ellen Clarke - 2010 - Biological Theory 5 (4):312-325.
Gene names as proper names of individuals: An assessment.Thomas A. C. Reydon - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (2):409-432.
Individuality and Macroevolutionary Theory.Marc Ereshefsky - 1988 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:216 - 222.
Thine Own Self: Individuality in Edith Stein's Later Writings.Sarah Borden Sharkey - 2010 - Washington: DC: Catholic University of America Press.
On guinea pigs, dogs and men: Anaphylaxis and the study of biological individuality, 1902-1939.Ilana Löwy - 2003 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 34 (3):399-423.
Non-countable [ndlviduals.Johanna Seibt - 1996 - Southwest Philosophy Review 12 (1):225-236.

Analytics

Added to PP
2012-09-06

Downloads
121 (#134,849)

6 months
20 (#100,262)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Makmiller Pedroso
Towson University
Marc Ereshefsky
University of Calgary

References found in this work

Darwinian Populations and Natural Selection.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2009 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Sameness and Substance Renewed.David Wiggins - 2001 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by David Wiggins.
A matter of individuality.David L. Hull - 1978 - Philosophy of Science 45 (3):335-360.
Individuality and Selection.David L. Hull - 1980 - Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 11:311-332.

View all 14 references / Add more references