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  1. Organisms, activity, and being: on the substance of process ontology.Christopher J. Austin - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (2):1-21.
    According to contemporary ‘process ontology’, organisms are best conceptualised as spatio-temporally extended entities whose mereological composition is fundamentally contingent and whose essence consists in changeability. In contrast to the Aristotelian precepts of classical ‘substance ontology’, from the four-dimensional perspective of this framework, the identity of an organism is grounded not in certain collections of privileged properties, or features which it could not fail to possess, but in the succession of diachronic relations by which it persists, or ‘perdures’ as one entity (...)
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  • Philosophy of Cell Biology.William Bechtel & Andrew Bollhagen - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Conceptual heterogeneity and the legacy of organicism: thoughts on the life organic: Essay review of Erik Peterson, The life organic: the theoretical biology club and the roots of epigenetics, Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2016, 328 pp., $45.00.Daniel S. Brooks - 2019 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 41 (2):24.
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  • A Manifesto for a Processual Philosophy of Biology.John A. Dupre & Daniel J. Nicholson - 2018 - In Daniel J. Nicholson & John A. Dupre (eds.), Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology.
    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 (...)
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  • Reconceptualizing the Organism: From Complex Machine to Flowing Stream.Daniel J. Nicholson - 2018 - In Daniel J. Nicholson & John A. Dupre (eds.), Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology.
    This chapter draws on insights from non-equilibrium thermodynamics to demonstrate the ontological inadequacy of the machine conception of the organism. The thermodynamic character of living systems underlies the importance of metabolism and calls for the adoption of a processual view, exemplified by the Heraclitean metaphor of the stream of life. This alternative conception is explored in its various historical formulations and the extent to which it captures the nature of living systems is examined. Following this, the chapter considers the metaphysical (...)
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  • Genidentity and Biological Processes.Thomas Pradeu - 2018 - In Daniel J. Nicholson & John Dupre (eds.), Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford University Press.
    A crucial question for a process view of life is how to identify a process and how to follow it through time. The genidentity view can contribute decisively to this project. It says that the identity through time of an entity X is given by a well-identified series of continuous states of affairs. Genidentity helps address the problem of diachronic identity in the living world. This chapter describes the centrality of the concept of genidentity for David Hull and proposes an (...)
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  • The Emerging Structure of the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis: Where Does Evo-Devo Fit In?Alejandro Fábregas-Tejeda & Francisco Vergara-Silva - 2018 - Theory in Biosciences 137.
    The Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (EES) debate is gaining ground in contemporary evolutionary biology. In parallel, a number of philosophical standpoints have emerged in an attempt to clarify what exactly is represented by the EES. For Massimo Pigliucci, we are in the wake of the newest instantiation of a persisting Kuhnian paradigm; in contrast, Telmo Pievani has contended that the transition to an EES could be best represented as a progressive reformation of a prior Lakatosian scientific research program, with the extension (...)
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  • Revisiting Three Decades of Biology and Philosophy: A Computational Topic-Modeling Perspective.Christophe Malaterre, Davide Pulizzotto & Francis Lareau - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (1):5.
    Though only established as a discipline since the 1970s, philosophy of biology has already triggered investigations about its own history The Oxford handbook of philosophy of biology, Oxford University Press, New York, pp 11–33, 2008). When it comes to assessing the road since travelled—the research questions that have been pursued—manuals and ontologies also offer specific viewpoints, highlighting dedicated domains of inquiry and select work. In this article, we propose to approach the history of the philosophy of biology with a complementary (...)
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  • Autopoiesis, Biological Autonomy and the Process View of Life.Anne Meincke - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (1):5.
    In recent years, an increasing number of theoretical biologists and philosophers of biology have been opposing reductionist research agendas by appealing to the concept of biological autonomy which draws on the older concept of autopoiesis. In my paper, I investigate some of the ontological implications of this approach. The emphasis on autonomy and autopoiesis, together with the associated idea of organisational closure, might evoke the impression that organisms are to be categorised ontologically as substances: ontologically independent, well-individuated, discrete particulars. However, (...)
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  • The Creativity of Natural Selection? Part II: The Synthesis and Since.John Beatty - 2019 - Journal of the History of Biology 52 (4):705-731.
    This is the second of a two-part essay on the history of debates concerning the creativity of natural selection, from Darwin through the evolutionary synthesis and up to the present. In the first part, I focussed on the mid-late nineteenth century to the early twentieth, with special emphasis on early Darwinism and its critics, the self-styled “mutationists.” The second part focuses on the evolutionary synthesis and some of its critics, especially the “neutralists” and “neo-mutationists.” Like Stephen Gould, I consider the (...)
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  • New Perspectives on Theory Change in Evolutionary Biology.Alejandro Fábregas-Tejeda - 2019 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 50 (4):573-581.
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  • A non-metaphysical evaluation of vitalism in the early twentieth century.Bohang Chen - 2018 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 40 (3):50.
    In biology the term “vitalism” is usually associated with Hans Driesch’s doctrine of the entelechy: entelechies were nonmaterial, bio-specific agents responsible for governing a few peculiar biological phenomena. Since vitalism defined as such violates metaphysical materialism, the received view refutes the doctrine of the entelechy as a metaphysical heresy. But in the early twentieth century, a different, non-metaphysical evaluation of vitalism was endorsed by some biologists and philosophers, which finally led to a logical refutation of the doctrine of the entelechy. (...)
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  • Realization in Biology?Sergio Balari & Guillermo Lorenzo - 2019 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 41 (1):5.
    It is widely assumed that functional and dispositional properties are not identical to their physical base, but that there is some kind of asymmetrical ontological dependence between them. In this regard, a popular idea is that the former are realized by the latter, which, under the non-identity assumption, is generally understood to be a non-causal, constitutive relation. In this paper we examine two of the most widely accepted approaches to realization, the so-called ‘flat view’ and the ‘dimensioned view’, and we (...)
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  • O Organism, Where Art Thou? Old and New Challenges for Organism-Centered Biology.Jan Baedke - 2018 - Journal of the History of Biology 52 (2):293-324.
    This paper addresses theoretical challenges, still relevant today, that arose in the first decades of the twentieth century related to the concept of the organism. During this period, new insights into the plasticity and robustness of organisms as well as their complex interactions fueled calls, especially in the UK and in the German-speaking world, for grounding biological theory on the concept of the organism. This new organism-centered biology understood organisms as the most important explanatory and methodological unit in biological investigations. (...)
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  • Unmodern Synthesis: Developmental Hierarchies and the Origin of Phenotypes.Richard Gawne, Kenneth Z. McKenna & H. Frederik Nijhout - 2018 - Bioessays 40 (1):1600265.
    The question of whether the modern evolutionary synthesis requires an extension has recently become a topic of discussion, and a source of controversy. We suggest that this debate is, for the most part, not about the modern synthesis at all. Rather, it is about the extent to which genetic mechanisms can be regarded as the primary determinants of phenotypic characters. The modern synthesis has been associated with the idea that phenotypes are the result of gene products, while supporters of the (...)
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  • Levels of Organization in Biology.Markus Eronen & Daniel Stephen Brooks - unknown - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Levels of organization are structures in nature, usually defined by part-whole relationships, with things at higher levels being composed of things at the next lower level. Typical levels of organization that one finds in the literature include the atomic, molecular, cellular, tissue, organ, organismal, group, population, community, ecosystem, landscape, and biosphere levels. References to levels of organization and related hierarchical depictions of nature are prominent in the life sciences and their philosophical study, and appear not only in introductory textbooks and (...)
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