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Argyris Arnellos: When and why should a collection of cells be considered an individual organism?

When:We 27-05-2015 15:30 - 17:00
Where:Room Alfa, Faculty of Philosophy

Lecture by Argyris Arnellos ( the KLI Institute, Klosterneuburg, Austria), organized by the Department of Theoretical Philosophy

Almost all multicellular (MC) systems comprise a number of different cell types and they are characterized by cell-to-cell interactions, thereby exhibiting some kind of integration, which in turn enables their maintenance and adaptation in the environment. In this respect, all MC systems, at least from a phenotypic point of view, seem to operate as individual organisms.

Notwithstanding the resulting adaptation at the global level, I will argue that the related neo-Darwinian and adaptationist explanatory frameworks: (i). do not bear any distinctive power with respect to the strikingly different characters of multicellularity; (ii). cannot fully account for the individual/organismal status of multicellular systems. Adopting an organizational perspective, I distinguish between ...(continue reading...)