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How many organisms during a pregnancy?

How many organisms during a pregnancy?
How many organisms during a pregnancy?
Mammalian placental pregnancy is a neglected problem case for theories of organismality. This example is “closer to home” than those typically discussed within philosophy of biology. I apply evolutionary and immunological accounts of organismality to the “counting question”: how many organisms are present during a placental pregnancy? I conclude that an evolutionary approach yields the answer “two”, due to bottlenecking, germ-soma sequestration and sexual recombination. By contrast, an immunological approach answers “one”, due to pervasive interactions across the placenta. This analysis expands and refines recent work on a biologically informed metaphysics of pregnancy, an under-theorised area of philosophy of science.
Organisms Pregnancy Biological Individuality
0031-8248
1049-1060
Grose, Jonathan
8e857599-6d98-4831-813c-86f6e7f79ee9
Grose, Jonathan
8e857599-6d98-4831-813c-86f6e7f79ee9

Grose, Jonathan (2020) How many organisms during a pregnancy? Philosophy of Science, 87 (5), 1049-1060. (doi:10.1086/710542).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Mammalian placental pregnancy is a neglected problem case for theories of organismality. This example is “closer to home” than those typically discussed within philosophy of biology. I apply evolutionary and immunological accounts of organismality to the “counting question”: how many organisms are present during a placental pregnancy? I conclude that an evolutionary approach yields the answer “two”, due to bottlenecking, germ-soma sequestration and sexual recombination. By contrast, an immunological approach answers “one”, due to pervasive interactions across the placenta. This analysis expands and refines recent work on a biologically informed metaphysics of pregnancy, an under-theorised area of philosophy of science.

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Accepted/In Press date: 16 September 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 15 December 2020
Published date: December 2020
Keywords: Organisms Pregnancy Biological Individuality

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Local EPrints ID: 437291
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/437291
ISSN: 0031-8248
PURE UUID: e6763f63-b262-4eac-a55c-2474228cf25c

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Date deposited: 23 Jan 2020 17:34
Last modified: 27 Apr 2022 07:56

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Author: Jonathan Grose

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