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Maël Montévil
Université Paris-Sorbonne
  1.  44
    Measurement in Biology is Methodized by Theory.Maël Montévil - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (3):35.
    We characterize access to empirical objects in biology from a theoretical perspective. Unlike objects in current physical theories, biological objects are the result of a history and their variations continue to generate a history. This property is the starting point of our concept of measurement. We argue that biological measurement is relative to a natural history which is shared by the different objects subjected to the measurement and is more or less constrained by biologists. We call symmetrization the theoretical and (...)
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  2. From Physics to Biology by Extending Criticality and Symmetry Breakings.Giuseppe Longo & Maël Montévil - 2011 - Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology 106:340 - 347.
    Symmetries play a major role in physics, in particular since the work by E. Noether and H. Weyl in the first half of last century. Herein, we briefly review their role by recalling how symmetry changes allow to conceptually move from classical to relativistic and quantum physics. We then introduce our ongoing theoretical analysis in biology and show that symmetries play a radically different role in this discipline, when compared to those in current physics. By this comparison, we stress that (...)
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  3.  71
    Possibility Spaces and the Notion of Novelty: From Music to Biology.Maël Montévil - 2019 - Synthese 196 (11):4555-4581.
    We provide a new perspective on the relation between the space of description of an object and the appearance of novelties. One of the aims of this perspective is to facilitate the interaction between mathematics and historical sciences. The definition of novelties is paradoxical: if one can define in advance the possibles, then they are not genuinely new. By analyzing the situation in set theory, we show that defining generic (i.e., shared) and specific (i.e., individual) properties of elements of a (...)
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  4. Protention and Retention in Biological Systems.Giuseppe Longo & Maël Montévil - 2011 - Theory in Biosciences 130:107-117.
    This article proposes an abstract mathematical frame for describing some features of cognitive and biological time. We focus here on the so called “extended present” as a result of protentional and retentional activities (memory and anticipation). Memory, as retention, is treated in some physical theories (relaxation phenomena, which will inspire our approach), while protention (or anticipation) seems outside the scope of physics. We then suggest a simple functional representation of biological protention. This allows us to introduce the abstract notion of (...)
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  5.  76
    The Inert Vs. The Living State of Matter: Extended Criticality, Time Geometry, Anti-Entropy - An Overview.Giuseppe Longo & Maël Montévil - 2012 - Frontiers in Physiology 3:39.
    The physical singularity of life phenomena is analyzed by means of comparison with the driving concepts of theories of the inert. We outline conceptual analogies, transferals of methodologies and theoretical instruments between physics and biology, in addition to indicating significant differences and sometimes logical dualities. In order to make biological phenomenalities intelligible, we introduce theoretical extensions to certain physical theories. In this synthetic paper, we summarize and propose a unified conceptual framework for the main conclusions drawn from work spanning a (...)
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  6.  28
    Ecological Models for Gene Therapy. II. Niche Construction, Nongenetic Inheritance, and Ecosystem Perturbations.Arnaud Pocheville, Maël Montévil & Régis Ferrière - 2014 - Biological Theory 9 (4):414-422.
    In this paper, we apply the perspective of intra-organismal ecology by investigating a family of ecological models suitable to describe a gene therapy to a particular metabolic disorder, the adenosine deaminase deficiency (ADA-SCID). The gene therapy is modeled as the prospective ecological invasion of an organ (here, bone marrow) by genetically modified stem cells, which then operate niche construction in the cellular environment by releasing an enzyme they synthesize. We show that depending on the chosen order (a choice that cannot (...)
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  7. A 2-Dimensional Geometry for Biological Time.Francis Bailly, Giuseppe Longo & Maël Montévil - 2011 - Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology 106:474 - 484.
    This paper proposes an abstract mathematical frame for describing some features of biological time. The key point is that usual physical (linear) representation of time is insufficient, in our view, for the understanding key phenomena of life, such as rhythms, both physical (circadian, seasonal …) and properly biological (heart beating, respiration, metabolic …). In particular, the role of biological rhythms do not seem to have any counterpart in mathematical formalization of physical clocks, which are based on frequencies along the usual (...)
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  8.  45
    Ecological Models for Gene Therapy. I. Models for Intraorganismal Ecology.Arnaud Pocheville & Maël Montévil - 2014 - Biological Theory 9 (4):401-413.
    In this paper, we discuss the perspective of intra-organismal ecology by investigating a family of ecological models. We consider two types of models. First order models describe the population dynamics as being directly affected by ecological factors (here understood as nutrients, space, etc). They might be thought of as analogous to Aristotelian physics. Second order models describe the population dynamics as being indirectly affected, the ecological factors now affecting the derivative of the growth rate (that is, the population acceleration), possibly (...)
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  9.  52
    Randomness Increases Order in Biological Evolution.Giuseppe Longo & Maël Montévil - 2012 - In M. Dinneen, B. Khoussainov & A. Nies (eds.), Computation, Physics and Beyond. Berlin Heidelberg: pp. 289-308.
    n this text, we revisit part of the analysis of anti-entropy in Bailly and Longo (2009} and develop further theoretical reflections. In particular, we analyze how randomness, an essential component of biological variability, is associated to the growth of biological organization, both in ontogenesis and in evolution. This approach, in particular, focuses on the role of global entropy production and provides a tool for a mathematical understanding of some fundamental observations by Gould on the increasing phenotypic complexity along evolution. Lastly, (...)
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  10.  77
    Philosophical Accounts of Biological Functions. [REVIEW]Maël Montévil - 2017 - Science & Education 26 (7-9):1071-1073.
    The book A critical overview of biological functions is a short monograph by J. Garson, which provides a survey of the views on biological functions in the analytic tradition of philosophy. The notion of function is ubiquitous in biology and all of its subfields. Behind the notion of biological functions lurks the shadow of final causes. Overcoming this shadow is a challenge that has stimulated many philosophers and the literature on this topic is very rich. In the analytic tradition, researchers (...)
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