Biological Individuality: Integrating Scientific, Philosophical, and Historical Perspectives

2017.11.13 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Scott Lidgard and Lynn K. Nyhart (eds.), Biological Individuality: Integrating Scientific, Philosophical, and Historical
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2017.11.13 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Scott Lidgard and Lynn K. Nyhart (eds.), Biological Individuality: Integrating Scientific, Philosophical, and Historical Perspectives, University of Chicago Press, 2017, 400 pp., $25.00 (pbk), ISBN 9780226446455. Reviewed by Pierrick Bourrat, Macquarie University What is a biological individual? This is the main question this edited collection attempts to answer and intuitively it seems an easy one. Biological entities that are in some ways autonomous, clearly distinct from their environment, able to maintain their integrity and able to feed and reproduce will count as individuals. But when the question is deepened, it becomes clear that none of these criteria apply generally to all the objects that have been referred to by the term biological individual. Take, for instance, the quaking aspen. This species of tree, very common in Canada, create forests of clonal trees that all belong to a single root system. . .

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