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  1. Biological Individuality and the Foetus Problem.William Morgan - 2022 - Erkenntnis 89 (2):799-816.
    The Problem of Biological Individuality is the problem of how to count organisms. Whilst counting organisms may seem easy, the biological world is full of difficult cases such as colonial siphonophores and aspen tree groves. One of the main solutions to the Problem of Biological Individuality is the Physiological Approach. Drawing on an argument made by Eric Olson in the personal identity debate, I argue that the Physiological Approach faces a metaphysical problem - the ‘Foetus Problem’. This paper illustrates how (...)
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  • Biological Individuality and the Foetus Problem.William Morgan - 2022 - Erkenntnis 89 (2):799-816.
    The Problem of Biological Individuality is the problem of how to count organisms. Whilst counting organisms may seem easy, the biological world is full of difficult cases such as colonial siphonophores and aspen tree groves. One of the main solutions to the Problem of Biological Individuality is the Physiological Approach. Drawing on an argument made by Eric Olson in the personal identity debate, I argue that the Physiological Approach faces a metaphysical problem - the ‘Foetus Problem’. This paper illustrates how (...)
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  • Scrutinizing microbiome determinism: why deterministic hypotheses about the microbiome are conceptually ungrounded.Javier Suárez - 2024 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 46 (1):1-26.
    This paper addresses the topic of determinism in contemporary microbiome research. I distinguish two types of deterministic claims about the microbiome, and I show evidence that both types of claims are present in the contemporary literature. First, the idea that the host genetics determines the composition of the microbiome which I call “host-microbiome determinism”. Second, the idea that the genetics of the holobiont (the individual unit composed by a host plus its microbiome) determines the expression of certain phenotypic traits, which (...)
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  • Rethinking hereditary relations: the reconstitutor as the evolutionary unit of heredity.Sophie J. Veigl, Javier Suárez & Adrian Stencel - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-42.
    This paper introduces the reconstitutor as a comprehensive unit of heredity within the context of evolutionary research. A reconstitutor is the structure resulting from a set of relationships between different elements or processes that are actively involved in the recreation of a specific phenotypic variant in each generation regardless of the biomolecular basis of the elements or whether they stand in a continuous line of ancestry. Firstly, we justify the necessity of introducing the reconstitutor by showing the limitations of other (...)
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  • Towards a characterization of metaphysics of biology: metaphysics for and metaphysics in biology.Vanesa Triviño - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-21.
    Since the last decades of the twentieth and the beginning of the twenty-first century, the use of metaphysics by philosophers when approaching conceptual problems in biology has increased. Some philosophers call this tendency in philosophy of biology ‘Metaphysics of Biology’. In this paper, I aim at characterizing Metaphysics of Biology by paying attention to the diverse ways philosophers use metaphysics when addressing conceptual problems in biology. I will claim that there are two different modes of doing Metaphysics of Biology, namely (...)
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  • Technology-driven surrogates and the perils of epistemic misalignment: an analysis in contemporary microbiome science.Javier Suárez & Federico Boem - 2022 - Synthese 200 (6):1-28.
    A general view in philosophy of science says that the appropriateness of an object to act as a surrogate depends on the user’s decision to utilize it as such. This paper challenges this claim by examining the role of surrogative reasoning in high-throughput sequencing technologies as they are used in contemporary microbiome science. Drawing on this, we argue that, in technology-driven surrogates, knowledge about the type of inference practically permitted and epistemically justified by the surrogate constrains their use and thus (...)
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  • The stability of traits conception of the hologenome: An evolutionary account of holobiont individuality.Javier Suárez - 2020 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 42 (1):1-27.
    Bourrat and Griffiths :33, 2018) have recently argued that most of the evidence presented by holobiont defenders to support the thesis that holobionts are evolutionary individuals is not to the point and is not even adequate to discriminate multispecies evolutionary individuals from other multispecies assemblages that would not be considered evolutionary individuals by most holobiont defenders. They further argue that an adequate criterion to distinguish the two categories is fitness alignment, presenting the notion of fitness boundedness as a criterion that (...)
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  • Masking, extrinsicness, and the nature of dispositions: the role of niche signals in muscle stem cells.Javier Suárez - 2023 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 13 (2):1-29.
    I investigate the intrinsic/extrinsic nature of stemness in muscle stem cells (MSC) by relying on recent research on quiescence, with the aim of shedding light on the nature of dispositions and deriving some consequences about stem cells. First, I argue why the study of quiescence is the best available way to establish any claim about the intrinsicness/extrinsicness of stemness at least is some stem cells. Drawing on that, I argue that MSC’s stem capacities result from the combination of intrinsic cues (...)
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  • The Holobiont Blindspot: Relating Host-Microbiome Interactions to Cognitive Biases and the Concept of the “Umwelt”.Jake M. Robinson & Ross Cameron - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
    Cognitive biases can lead to misinterpretations of human and non-human biology and behavior. The concept of the Umwelt describes phylogenetic contrasts in the sensory realms of different species and has important implications for evolutionary studies of cognition (including biases) and social behavior. It has recently been suggested that the microbiome (the diverse network of microorganisms in a given environment, including those within a host organism such as humans) has an influential role in host behavior and health. In this paper, we (...)
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  • Global climate change, diet, and the complex relationship between human host and microbiome: Towards an integrated picture.Francesco Catania, Jan Baedke, Alejandro Fábregas-Tejeda, Abigail Nieves Delgado, Valerio Vitali & Le Anh Nguyen Long - 2021 - Bioessays 43 (6):2100049.
    Dietary changes can alter the human microbiome with potential detrimental consequences for health. Given that environment, health, and evolution are interconnected, we ask: Could diet‐driven microbiome perturbations have consequences that extend beyond their immediate impact on human health? We address this question in the context of the urgent health challenges posed by global climate change. Drawing on recent studies, we propose that not only can diet‐driven microbiome changes lead to dysbiosis, they can also shape life‐history traits and fuel human evolution. (...)
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  • El holobionte/hologenoma como nivel de seleccion.Javier Suárez - 2021 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 36 (1):81-112.
    The units or levels of selection debate concerns the question of what kind of biological systems are stable enough that part of their evolution is a result of the process of natural selection acting at their level. Traditionally, the debate has concerned at least two different, though related, questions: the question of the level at which interaction with the environment occurs, and the question of the level at which reproduction occurs. In recent years, biologists and philosophers have discussed a new (...)
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