Acta Biotheoretica 69 (3):417-433 (2020)

Authors
Francesca Merlin
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Abstract
In this paper, we adopt a physiological perspective in order to produce an intelligible overview of biological transmission in all its diversity. This allows us to put forward the analysis of transmission mechanisms, with the aim of complementing the usual focus on transmitted factors. We underline the importance of the structural, dynamical, and functional features of transmission mechanisms throughout organisms’ life cycles in order to answer to the question of what is passed on across generations, how and why. On this basis, we propose a vision of biological transmission as networks of heterogeneous physiological mechanisms, not restricted to transmission mechanisms stricto sensu. They prove to be themselves suited candidates for evolutionary explanations. They are processes both necessary for evolution to happen and resulting themselves from evolution. This leads us to call for a strategy of endogenization to account for transmission, and more specifically inheritance, as evolved and evolving physiological mechanisms.
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DOI 10.1007/s10441-020-09396-7
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References found in this work BETA

Thinking About Mechanisms.Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
Explanation: A Mechanist Alternative.William Bechtel - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biol and Biomed Sci 36 (2):421--441.
Explanation: A Mechanist Alternative.William Bechtel & Adele Abrahamsen - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (2):421-441.
What is a Mechanism? Thinking About Mechanisms Across the Sciences.Phyllis Illari & Jon Williamson - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (1):119-135.
Rethinking Mechanistic Explanation.Stuart Glennan - 2002 - Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S342-353.

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