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Individuating Genes as Types or Individuals: Philosophical Implications on Individuality, Kinds, and Gene Concepts

Chen, Ruey-Lin (2018) Individuating Genes as Types or Individuals: Philosophical Implications on Individuality, Kinds, and Gene Concepts. In: UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

“What is a gene?” is an important philosophical question that has been asked over and over. This paper approaches this question by understanding it as the individuation problem of genes, because it implies the problem of identifying genes and identifying a gene presupposes individuating the gene. I argue that there are at least two levels of the individuation of genes. The transgenic technique can individuate “a gene” as an individual while the technique of gene mapping in classical genetics can only individuate “a gene” as a type or a kind. The two levels of individuation involve different techniques, different objects that are individuated, and different references of the term “gene”. Based on the two levels of individuation, I discuss important philosophical implications including the relationship between individuality and individuation and that between individuals and kinds in experimental contexts. I also suggest a new gene conception, calling it “the transgenic conception of the gene.”


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Chen, Ruey-Lin
Keywords: gene concept, individuality, individuation, experiment, classical genetics, transgenic technique
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Molecular Biology/Genetics
General Issues > Experimentation
Depositing User: Dr. Ruey-Lin Chen
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2018 19:54
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2018 19:54
Item ID: 15214
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Molecular Biology/Genetics
General Issues > Experimentation
Date: November 2018
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/15214

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