Genidentity and Biological Processes

In Daniel J. Nicholson & John Dupre (eds.), Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford University Press (2018)
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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 extension of Hull’s view to the ubiquitous phenomenon of symbiosis. Finally, using immunology as a key example, it shows that the genidentity view suggests that the main interest of a process approach is epistemological rather than ontological and that its principal claim is one of priority, namely that processes precede and define things, and not vice versa.



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Thomas Pradeu
CNRS & University Of Bordeaux

Citations of this work

Are Organisms Substances or Processes?William Morgan - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (3):605-619.
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Realization in biology?Sergio Balari & Guillermo Lorenzo - 2019 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 41 (1):5.

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