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Everything Flows

Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology

«Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology is an excellent example of the skillful sampling of an on-going approach in philosophy of science. The sampling quite obviously emerged from intensive live discussions among the authors and stands in sharp contrast to the haphazardly put together collections that seem to dominate the field these days. It is an insightful and surprisingly lively read. I especially warmly recommend it to those philosophers exposed chiefly to the standard topics and approaches in philosophy of biology and in philosophy of science more generally.»

Slobodan Perović, Metascience

This is an open access title available under the terms of a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International licence. It is free to read at Oxford Scholarship Online and offered as a free PDF download from OUP and selected open access locations. Les mer

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This is an open access title available under the terms of a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International licence. It is free to read at Oxford Scholarship Online and offered as a free PDF download from OUP and selected open access locations.

Everything Flows explores the metaphysical thesis that the living world is not made up of substantial particles or things, as has often been supposed, but is rather constituted by processes. The biological domain is organised as an interdependent hierarchy of processes, which are stabilized and actively maintained at different timescales. Even entities that intuitively appear to be paradigms of things, such as organisms, are actually better understood as processes. Unlike previous
attempts to articulate processual views of biology, which have tended to use Alfred North Whitehead's panpsychist metaphysics as a foundation, this book takes a naturalistic approach to metaphysics. It submits that the main motivations for replacing an ontology of substances with one of processes are to be found
in the empirical findings of science. Biology provides compelling reasons for thinking that the living realm is fundamentally dynamic, and that the existence of things is always conditional on the existence of processes. The phenomenon of life cries out for theories that prioritise processes over things, and it suggests that the central explanandum of biology is not change but rather stability, or more precisely, stability attained through constant change. This edited volume brings together
philosophers of science and metaphysicians interested in exploring the prospects of a processual philosophy of biology. The contributors draw on an extremely wide range of biological case studies, and employ a process perspective to cast new light on a number of traditional philosophical problems, such
as identity, persistence, and individuality.

Detaljer

Forlag
Oxford University Press
Innbinding
Innbundet
Språk
Engelsk
ISBN
9780198779636
Utgivelsesår
2018
Format
24 x 16 cm

Om forfatteren

Daniel J. Nicholson is a research fellow currently based at Egenis, The Centre for the Study of Life Sciences, at the University of Exeter. Previously, he held appointments at the Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas in Tel Aviv, as well as at the Konrard Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research near Vienna. His work is characterized by an integrated and strongly interdisciplinary approach to the history and philosophy of
biology, with a specific interest in the ontology of living systems and the adequacy of mechanistic explanations to make sense of them. He is also interested in general topics in the philosophy of science and in theoretical biology, broadly construed.

John Dupre is Professor of Philosophy and Director of Egenis, The Centre for the Study of Life Sciences, at the University of Exeter. He has formerly held posts at Oxford, Birkbeck College, London, and Stanford, and visiting chairs at the University of Amsterdam and Cambridge. He has wide-ranging interests in the philosophy of biology, the philosophy of science generally, and naturalistic, empirically grounded metaphysics. He is a former president of the British Society for Philosophy of
Science, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Anmeldelser

«Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology is an excellent example of the skillful sampling of an on-going approach in philosophy of science. The sampling quite obviously emerged from intensive live discussions among the authors and stands in sharp contrast to the haphazardly put together collections that seem to dominate the field these days. It is an insightful and surprisingly lively read. I especially warmly recommend it to those philosophers exposed chiefly to the standard topics and approaches in philosophy of biology and in philosophy of science more generally.»

Slobodan Perović, Metascience

«I highly recommend this insightful and lively collection.»

Slobodan Perović, University of Belgrade, Metascience

«This is an important book in the development of biological explanation and understanding ... Essential.»

L. C. Archie, CHOICE

«This anthology heralds a revolution in the philosophy of biology, arguing that the long-standing dominance of the mechanistic framework should finally come to an end. Ambitious and innovative, yet cogent and empirically grounded, Daniel J. Nicholson and John Dupré's Everything Flows is a must read for anyone interested in understanding new directions in the investigation of the biological world.»

Katherine Valde, Philosophy of Science

«Everything Flows is an impressive collection and a worthwhile read for metaphysicians, philosophers of science, and biologists...Whether or not support for processualism will grow or dwindle remains to be seen; irrespective, the book stands as an absorbing study of a specific moment in analytic philosophy of biology, and a manifesto for a distinctive movement in that field»

Adam Ferner, BJPS Review of Books

«Nicholson and Dupré's Everything Flows is an excellent, multiperspectival effort to raise awareness about the metaphysical assumptions and problems that underlie the dominant orientation in mainstream biology, namely, that of mechanistic neo-Darwinism with its substance outlook, and to display why the process-relational alternative is to be embraced instead.»

Adam C. Scarfe, Process Studies

«This book appears at a time when genocentric mechanism has been widely disseminated to the public even as cutting-edge biologists and philosophers have been pulling the rug out from under it ... One of the uses of this book for philosophers will be to counter the metaphysical enshrinement of a false, but widespread impression about genes ... It is true that Everything Flows assumes philosophical and biological literacy, but it is also true that it does a very good job teaching both.»

David Depew, History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences

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