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The problem of functional boundaries in prebiotic and inter-biological systems

Bich, Leonardo (2019) The problem of functional boundaries in prebiotic and inter-biological systems. Minati, G., Pessa E. and Abram, M. (eds) Systemics of Incompleteness and Quasi-Systems. pp. 295-302.

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Abstract

The concept of organisational closure, interpreted as a set of internally pro-duced and mutually dependent constraints, allows understanding organisms as functionally integrated systems capable of self-production and self-maintenance through the control exerted upon biosynthetic processes and the exchanges of matter and energy with the environment. One of the current challenges faced by this theoretical framework is to account for limit cases in which a robust functional closure cannot be realised from within. In order to achieve functional sufficiency and persist, prebiotic or biological systems may need to recruit external constraints or expand their network of control in-teractions to include other autonomous systems. These phenomena seem to contrast with the very idea of closure and the capability of living systems to specify their functional boundaries from within. This paper will analyse from an organisational perspective the role of environmental scaffolds and of dif-ferent classes of intersystem interactions in prebiotic and supra-organismal biological scenarios, and show how the theoretical framework based on the notion of closure can account for these cases.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Bich, Leonardoleonardo.bich@ehu.es0000-0002-2416-112X
Keywords: biological autonomy; organisation; functions: organisational closure; symbiosis; Origins of life; functional integration
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Function/Teleology
Specific Sciences > Complex Systems
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Depositing User: Dr. Leonardo Bich
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2019 13:43
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2019 13:43
Item ID: 16144
Journal or Publication Title: Minati, G., Pessa E. and Abram, M. (eds) Systemics of Incompleteness and Quasi-Systems
Publisher: Springer
Official URL: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-03...
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-15277-2_23
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Function/Teleology
Specific Sciences > Complex Systems
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Date: 2019
Page Range: pp. 295-302
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16144

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