Chapter

The Constituents of Life 1: Species, Microbes, and Genes<sup>1</sup>

John Dupré

in Processes of Life

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199691982
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738111 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199691982.003.0005
The Constituents of Life 1: Species, Microbes, and Genes1

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This chapter (and the next) begin to introduce the author’s positive views about the ontological status of biological entities. In particular, it begins to explore the implications of the often neglected fact that life is composed of processes rather than things. The argument is introduced that this processual nature of life is a key to explaining the pluralism that was described in. The argument is developed in detail through examination of the projects of sorting organisms into species and of distinguishing parts of the genome as genes. The crucial topic of the neglect of microbial life in much philosophy and biology is introduced.

Keywords: process; scientific pluralism; species; gene; microbe

Chapter.  8669 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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