Article ID: CBB220831022

Conserving Functions across Generations: Heredity in Light of Biological Organization (2022)


We develop a conceptual framework that connects biological heredity and organization. We refer to heredity as the cross-generation conservation of functional elements, defined as constraints subject to organizational closure. While hereditary objects are functional constituents of biological systems, any other entity that is stable across generations—and possibly involved in the recurrence of phenotypes—belongs to their environment. The central outcome of the organizational perspective consists in extending the scope of heredity beyond the genetic domain without merging it with the broad category of cross-generation stability. After discussing some implications, we conclude with a reflection on the relationship between stability and variation.

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Authors & Contributors
Loison, Laurent
Paul Gottlob Layer
Laura Nuño de la Rosa
Villegas, Cristina
Louis, Ard A.
Edge, Michael D.
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Philosophy of Science
Journal of the History of Biology
Annals of the History and Philosophy of Biology
VIET: Voprosy Istorii Estestvoznaniia i Tekhniki
Perspectives on Science
Fundo Mackenzie de Pesquisa
Philosophy of biology
Variation (biology)
Jennings, Herbert Spencer
Steele, E. J.
Lovejoy, Arthur Oncken
Lamarck, Jean Baptiste Antoine Pierre de Monet de
Stepan, Nancy Leys
Senebier, Jean
Time Periods
19th century
20th century
21st century
20th century, late
20th century, early
Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, Md.)

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