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Individuating Part-whole Relations in the Biological World

In O. Bueno, R.-L. Chen & M. B. Fagan (eds.), Individuation Across Experimental and Theoretical Sciences. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2018)

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  1. Corporeal composition.Stuart Glennan - 2021 - Synthese 198 (12):11439-11462.
    What is it for an individual thing in the natural world—a rock, a mouse, a family or a planet—to be made of other things—crystals, organs, animals, soil, water, or dirt? Rocks, mice, families and planets are composites, but how are we to understand the relation that holds between these composites and their component parts? My aim is to offer a new account of this relation, which I shall call corporeal composition. A central claim of my account is that corporeal composition (...)
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  • Methodology for the Metaphysics of Pregnancy.Suki Finn - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (3):1-19.
    One of the central questions in the metaphysics of pregnancy is this: Is the foetus a part of the mother? In this paper I aim not to answer this question, but rather to raise methodological concerns regarding how to approach answering it. I will outline how various areas attempt to answer whether the foetus is a part of the mother so as to demonstrate the methodological problems that each faces. My positive suggestion will be to adopt a method of reflective (...)
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  • Broadening the Problem Agenda of Biological Individuality: Individual Differences, Uniqueness and Temporality.Rose Trappes & Marie I. Kaiser - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (2):1-28.
    Biological individuality is a notoriously thorny topic for biologists and philosophers of biology. In this paper we argue that biological individuality presents multiple, interconnected questions for biologists and philosophers that together form a problem agenda. Using a case study of an interdisciplinary research group in ecology, behavioral and evolutionary biology, we claim that a debate on biological individuality that seeks to account for diverse practices in the biological sciences should be broadened to include and give prominence to questions about uniqueness (...)
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  • Models of the Nucleus: Incompatible Things, Compatible Processes.William Penn - unknown
    Nuclear models are incompatible in their thing-terms: terms that refer to static entities like objects, structures, and substances. Specifically, the two most prevalent models—the liquid drop and shell models—treat the nucleus, its internal structure, and the component nucleons as entities that contradict each other’s properties. These differences allow these two models to describe and explain different nuclear experiments: fission and scattering in the liquid drop model, and single-nucleon excitation and nuclear decay in the shell model. However, prima facie, these differences (...)
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