Biological Individuality: The Identity and Persistence of Living Entities

Biological Individuality: The Identity and Persistence of Living Entities

by Jack Wilson
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521036887

ISBN-13: 9780521036887

Pub. Date: 03/28/2007

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

What makes a biological entity an individual? Jack Wilson shows that past philosophers have failed to explicate the conditions an entity must satisfy to be a living individual. He explores the reason for this failure and explains why we should limit ourselves to examples involving real organisms rather than thought experiments. This book explores and resolves

Overview

What makes a biological entity an individual? Jack Wilson shows that past philosophers have failed to explicate the conditions an entity must satisfy to be a living individual. He explores the reason for this failure and explains why we should limit ourselves to examples involving real organisms rather than thought experiments. This book explores and resolves paradoxes that arise when one applies past notions of individuality to biological examples beyond the conventional range, and presents a new analysis of identity and persistence.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521036887
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
03/28/2007
Series:
Cambridge Studies in Philosophy and Biology Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
152
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.35(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Part I. Beyond Horses and Oak Trees: A New Theory of Individuation for Living Entities: 1. Introduction; 2. The meaning of 'a life'; 3. The poverty of examples; 4. Imaginary examples and conceptual analysis; 5. What is it?; Part II. The Biological and Philosophical Roots of Individuality: 6. Why biologists (should) care about individuality; 7. Philosophers on living entities; 8. Natural kinds and substantial kinds; 9. Patterns and natural kinds; Part III. Individuality and Equivocation: 10. Paradigm individuals: the higher animals; 11. Other possible solutions; 12. The proposed solution; Part IV. The Necessity of Biological Origin and Substantial Kinds: 13. A valid argument for sortal essentialism; 14. The necessity of biological origin; 15. Sex; 16. Species membership and the necessity of genealogy; Part V. Generation and Corruption: 17. Genetic individuals; 18. Functional individuals; 19. Developmental individuals; 20. Raising the dead; Part VI. Personal Identity Naturalized: Our Bodies, Our Selves: 21. Human beings as biological entities; 22. Is a person a human being?; 23. Conclusions; Appendix. Identity and sortals: why relative identity is self-contradictory; Notes; References; Index.

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