Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology

ISBN : 9780198779636

Daniel J. Nicholson; John Dupre
400 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
May 2018
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This is an open access title available under the terms of a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International licence. It is free to read at Oxford Scholarship Online and offered as a free PDF download from OUP and selected open access locations. There are two very general ways in which we can think about the world. The more traditional one is that it is fundamentally composed of enduring things, and that any changes we observe are really secondary. The more radical alternative is that the world essentially consists of processes, and that the things we discern are only static snapshots of an ever-changing reality. This book defends this latter view in the specific context of the living world. It argues that biology is the study of the processes that constitute living beings, and that all the things biologists study ultimately derive their existence from more basic processes. The eighteen essays in this volume consider the philosophical and scientific consequences of thinking about life in processual t


Johannes Jaeger: Foreword
Part I: Introduction
1 John Dupre & Daniel J. Nicholson: A Manifesto for a Processual Philosophy of Biology
Part II: Metaphysics
2 Peter Simons: Processes and Precipitates
3 Rani Lill Anjum & Stephen Mumford: Dispositionalism: A Dynamic Theory of Causation
4 James DiFrisco: Biological Processes: Criteria of Identity and Persistence
5 Thomas Pradeu: Genidentity and Biological Processes
6 Johanna Seibt: Ontological Tools for the Process Turn in Biology: Some Basic Notions of General Process Theory
Part III: Organisms
7 Daniel J. Nicholson: Reconceptualizing the Organism: From Complex Machine to Flowing Stream
8 Denis Walsh: Objectcy and Agency: Towards a Methodological Vitalism
9 Frederic Bouchard: Symbiosis, Transient Biological Individuality, and Evolutionary Processes
10 Argyris Arnellos: From Organizations of Processes to Organisms and Other Biological Individuals
Part IV: Development and Education
11 Paul Griffiths & Karola Stotz: Developmental Systems Theory as a Process Theory
12 Flavia Fabris: Waddington's Processual Epigenetics and the Debate over Cryptic Variability
13 Laura Nuno de la Rosa: Capturing Processes: The Interplay of Modelling Strategies and Conceptual Understanding in Developmental Biology
14 Eric Bapteste & Gemma Anderson: Intersecting Processes are Necessary Explanantia for Evolutionary Biology, but Challenge Retrodiction
Part IV: Implications and Applications
15 Stephan Guttinger: A Process Ontology for Macromolecular Biology
16 Marta Bertolaso & John Dupre: A Processual Perspective on Cancer
17 Ann-Sophie Barwich: Measuring the World: Olfaction as a Process Model of Perception
18 Anne Sophie Meincke: Persons as Biological Processes: A Bio-Processual Way Out of the Personal Identity Dilemma

About the author: 

Daniel J. Nicholson is a research fellow currently based at Egenis, The Centre for the Study of Life Sciences, at the University of Exeter. Previously, he held appointments at the Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas in Tel Aviv, as well as at the Konrard Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research near Vienna. His work is characterized by an integrated and strongly interdisciplinary approach to the history and philosophy of biology, with a specific interest in the ontology of living systems and the adequacy of mechanistic explanations to make sense of them. He is also interested in general topics in the philosophy of science and in theoretical biology, broadly construed.; John Dupre is Professor of Philosophy and Director of Egenis, The Centre for the Study of Life Sciences, at the University of Exeter. He has formerly held posts at Oxford, Birkbeck College, London, and Stanford, and visiting chairs at the University of Amsterdam and Cambridge. He has wide-ranging interests in the philosophy of biology, the philosophy of science generally, and naturalistic, empirically grounded metaphysics. He is a former president of the British Society for Philosophy of Science, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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