Conserving Functions across Generations: Heredity in Light of Biological Organization


Authors
Matteo Mossio
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Abstract
We develop a conceptual framework that connects biological heredity and organization. Heredity designates the cross-generation conservation of functional elements, defined as constraints subject to organizational closure. While hereditary objects are functional constituents of biological systems, any other entity that is stable across generations—and possibly involved in the recurrence of phenotypes—belongs to their environment. The central outcome of the organizational perspective consists in extending the scope of heredity beyond the genetic domain without merging it with the broad category of cross-generation stability. After discussing some implications, we conclude with a reflection on the relationship between stability and variation.
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/axz031
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On the Origin of Species.Charles Darwin - 2008 - Oxford University Press.
Genetics and Philosophy : An Introduction.Paul Griffiths & Karola Stotz - 2013 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Human Nature and Cognitive–Developmental Niche Construction.Karola Stotz - 2010 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (4):483-501.

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