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  1. The Gene as a Natural Kind.Francesca Bellazzi - 2023 - In José Manuel Viejo & Mariano Sanjuán (eds.), Life and Mind - New Directions in the Philosophy of Biology and Cognitive Sciences. Springer. pp. pp 259–278.
    What is a gene? Does it represent a natural kind, or is it just a tool for genomics? A clear answer to these questions has been challenged by postgenomic discoveries. In response, I will argue that the gene can be deemed a natural kind as it satisfies some requirements for genuine kindhood. Specifically, natural kinds are projectible categories in our best scientific theories, and they represent nodes in the causal network of the world (as in Khalidi. Natural Categories and Human (...)
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  2. Biochemical functions.Francesca Bellazzi - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Function talk is a constant across different life sciences. From macro-evolution to genetics, functions are mentioned everywhere. For example, a limb’s function is to allow movement and RNA polymerases’ function is to transcribe DNA. Biochemistry is not immune from such a characterization; the biochemical world seems to be a chemical world embedded within biological processes. Specifically, biochemists commonly ascribe functions to biomolecules and classify them accordingly. This has been noticed in the recent philosophical literature on biochemical kinds. But while a (...)
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  3. COVID-19 calls for virtue ethics.Francesca Bellazzi & Konrad V. Boyneburgk - 2020 - Journal of Law and the Biosciences 7 (1).
    The global spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) or coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) has led to the imposition of severely restrictive measures by governments in the Western hemisphere. We feel a contrast between these measures and our freedom. This contrast, we argue, is a false perception. It only appears to us because we look at the issue through our contemporary moral philosophy of utilitarianism and an understanding of freedom as absence of constraints. Both these views can be (...)
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  4.  36
    The emergence of the postgenomic gene.Francesca Bellazzi - 2022 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 12 (1):1-21.
    The identity and the existence of genes has been challenged by postgenomic discoveries. Specifically, the consideration of molecular and cellular phenomena in which genes are embedded has proved relevant for their understanding. In response to these challenges, I will argue that the complexity of genetic phenomena supports the weak emergence of genes from the DNA. In Section 2, I will expose what genes are taken to be in the postgenomic world. In Section 3, I will present the relevant account of (...)
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  5. Emergence in Complex Physiological Processes: The Case of Vitamin B12 Functions in Erythropoiesis.Francesca Bellazzi & Marta Bertolaso - 2024 - Systems 12.
    In this paper, we will explore the relation between molecular structure and functions displayed by biochemical molecules in complex physiological processes by using tools from the philosophy of science and the philosophy of scientific practice. We will argue that biochemical functions are weakly emergent from molecular structure by using an account of weak. In order to explore this thesis, we will consider the role of vitamin B12 in contributing to the process of erythropoiesis. The structure of the paper is the (...)
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    Epistemic Arguments for a Democratic Right to Silence.Dan Degerman & Francesca Bellazzi - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
    While much ink has been spilt over the political importance of speech, much less has been dedicated to the political importance of silence. This article seeks to fill that gap. We propose the need for a robust, democratic right to silence in public life and argue that there are politically salient epistemic reasons for recognising that right. We begin by defining what silence is and what a robust right to silence entails. We then argue that the right to silence offers (...)
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    COVID-19 Vaccines and the Virtues.Konrad V. Boyneburgk & Francesca Bellazzi - 2022 - Public Health Ethics 15 (3):209-219.
    From a moral point of view, what arguments are there for and against seeking COVID-19 vaccination? Can it be morally permissible to require (parts of) a population to receive a vaccine? The present paper adopts a perspective of virtue ethics and argues both that it is morally right for an individual virtuous moral agent to seek COVID-19 vaccination and for a virtuous ruler to impose mandatory vaccinations on her population.We begin by first presenting virtue ethics and the current vaccine controversy. (...)
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  8. Biochemical Kinds and the Unity of Science.Francesca Bellazzi - 2023 - Dissertation, University of Bristol
    The present thesis explores some metaphysical issues concerning biochemical kinds and the relations between chemical and biological properties and phenomena. The main result of this thesis is that there is something sui generis about biochemical kinds. This result is motivated by two theoretical steps. The first is characterising biochemical functions as weakly emergent from the chemical structure [Chapter 3, Chapter 6]. The second is via an account for which biochemical kinds are natural categories [Chapter 4, Chapter 7]. The thesis comprises (...)
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