Biology and Philosophy 21 (2):235-252 (2006)
The self/non-self model, first proposed by F.M. Burnet, has dominated immunology for 60 years now. According to this model, any foreign element will trigger an immune reaction in an organism, whereas endogenous elements will not, in normal circumstances, induce an immune reaction. In this paper we show that the self/non-self model is no longer an appropriate explanation of experimental data in immunology, and that this inadequacy may be rooted in an excessively strong metaphysical conception of biological identity. We suggest that another hypothesis, one based on the notion of continuity, gives a better account of immune phenomena. Finally, we underscore the mapping between this metaphysical deflation from self to continuity in immunology and the philosophical debate between substantialism and empiricism about identity.
|Keywords||Continuity Identity Immunology Organism and environment Self|
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References found in this work BETA
The Triple Helix: Gene, Organism, and Environment.Richard C. Lewontin - 2000 - Harvard University Press.
Autopoiesis and Cognition the Realization of the Living.H. R. MATURANA - 1980 - D. Reidel Publishing Company.
Citations of this work BETA
The Many Faces of Biological Individuality.Thomas Pradeu - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (6):761-773.
A Mixed Self: The Role of Symbiosis in Development.Thomas Pradeu - 2011 - Biological Theory 6 (1):80-88.
Organisms or Biological Individuals? Combining Physiological and Evolutionary Individuality.Thomas Pradeu - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (6):797-817.
Breaking with the Self: Can Continuity in Immunology Succeed?Neeraja Sankaran - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (2):242-246.
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