The Metaphysics of Life Sciences

; Elena Casetta

The Metaphysics of Life Sciences

Over the last fifty years, biology and life sciences have suggested many multifaceted challenges for metaphysics. The Metaphysics of Life Sciences is the first study of these challenges. Les mer
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The Metaphysics of Life Sciences

Over the last fifty years, biology and life sciences have suggested many multifaceted challenges for metaphysics. The Metaphysics of Life Sciences is the first study of these challenges.

This systematic study focuses on classical metaphysical debates, such as the divide between structural realism and antirealism, and the disputes between monists and pluralists, and essentialism and anti-essentialism. Divided into three parts, it covers amorphous reality (Part I), out of which life, organisms, and biological individuals are singled out and the means by which living entities are sorted (Part II), closely examining how entities are organized in a whole and whether bioengineered entities should be included in that whole or rather considered as artificial kinds. The final part of this study looks at microevolution, macroevolution, and epigenetic, behavioural, and cultural evolutions. By exploring the main issues that recent developments of biology and life sciences pose to metaphysicians, The Metaphysics of Life Sciences reveals the potential influence of this fast-growing branch of philosophy over classical fields such as metaphysics.

Introduction: Metaphysics and the Life Sciences
Part I: An Amorphous Lump
1. Life
2. Organisms
3. Biological Individuals
Part II: Cookie Cutters
4. Natural Kinds
5. Biodiversity
6. Bioengineered Entities
Part III: The Great Baker
7. Microevolution
8. Macroevolution
9. Other Evolutions
Bibliography
Index

By reassessing classical metaphysical controversies, including realism vs. antirealism and essentialism vs. anti-essentialism, this study presents an original examination of the entities and processes found in contemporary life sciences.

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