By Jack Wilson

ISBN-10: 0521624258

ISBN-13: 9780521624251

What makes a organic entity anyone? Jack Wilson exhibits that previous philosophers have didn't explicate the stipulations an entity needs to fulfill to be a residing person. He explores the cause of this failure and explains why we must always restrict ourselves to examples related to actual organisms instead of suggestion experiments. This publication explores and resolves paradoxes that come up while one applies earlier notions of individuality to organic examples past the normal diversity, and provides a brand new research of identification and patience.

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Additional info for Biological Individuality: The Identity and Persistence of Living Entities

Sample text

H. Huxley (1852) and Julian Huxley (1912) both wrote about it. So did Haeckel (1879). 1 Biologists have been making sporadic attempts to clarify conceptual and empirical issues about the identity and individuation of biological entities for a long time. Conceptual concern about the necessary and sufficient conditions for fulfilling the concept of an organism seem to have become fashionable several times in the past and then faded again into obscurity without resolution. The concept of individuality has been at the center of concerns about how to distinguish a tightly integrated colony from an organism, issues about what kinds of entities are involved in natural selection, as well as the idea that if population biologists are to be able to do their jobs, they have to be able to decide how many things of a specific kind they are looking at.

It is a change that the subject of the change cannot survive. If we examine any living thing, we discover that it is not just a “thing” or a “that”; it is a thing of some particular kind or other. It may be an oak tree or a sea urchin but it must be a thing of some kind. If this is true, each living thing is a thing of some particular kind, rather than just a thing simpliciter. For any particular thing, a substantial sortal identifies what kind of thing it is. To say that each thing is a thing of some kind does not yet rule out the possibility that the thing is a bare particular, something that can survive any kind of change while remaining numerically the same thing.

What are the alterations that may, or may not, be made in a Horse, or Lead, without making either of them to be of another Species? In determining the Species of Things by our abstract Ideas, this is easy to resolve: but if anyone will regulate himself herein, by supposing real Essences, he will, I suppose, be at a loss: and he will never be able to know when any thing precisely ceases to be of the Species of a Horse, or Lead. 13) Locke says that the same particular can instantiate many distinct species by satisfying different nominal essences.

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Biological Individuality: The Identity and Persistence of Living Entities by Jack Wilson


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