Person – Subject – Organism- An Overview of Interdisciplinary Insights
Edited By Anton Vydra
Individuality and Incorporation: Renewing the Concepts of ‘Life’ and ‘Biological Organism’
Among the several questions that animate the current debate in Philosophy of Biology, one of the most important concerns the necessity to rethink of a series of ‘common criteria’ to explain ‘life’ and ‘evolution of life.’ As recently underlined by J. Dupré and M. A. O’Malley, ‘life’ seems to arise from a collaborative system of interactions between different forms of organisms. With regard to these considerations and the recent accounts of ‘biological organism’ outlined by Symbiogenesis, my primary purpose will be to reconsider, from a philosophical point of view, the conception of ‘biological entity’ as strictly dependent on complex levels of ‘incorporation’ among different beings.
Keywords: life, biological singularity, living organism, symbiogenesis, incorporation, intercorporeity
As well stressed by John Dupré, biology should not be conceived as a science requiring “no more than the working of physics and chemistry;”1 rather, he adds “there are emergent properties that could not have been predicted […] from a complete knowledge of the constituents of a thing and their internal relations.”2
Hereinafter, I give a brief account of some recent reviews of ‘biological organism’ pointed out by Theoretical Biology and evolutionary epistemology, thus presenting new philosophical issues for understanding life phenomena as singularities: by taking account of the role of ‘symbiosis’ and ‘collaborations’ between organisms through evolution, indeed, we see that the idea of ‘biological entity’ is strictly dependent on complex levels of incorporation among different...
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