A manifesto for a processual philosophy of biology
Oxford University Press
© The several contributors 2018. This is an open access publication, available online and distributed under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial – No Derivatives 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), a copy of which is available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/.
Reason for embargo
Under embargo until 14 June 2020 in compliance with publisher policy.
This chapter argues that scientific and philosophical progress in our understanding of the living world requires that we abandon a metaphysics of things in favour of one centred on processes. We identify three main empirical motivations for adopting a process ontology in biology: metabolic turnover, life cycles, and ecological interdependence. We show how taking a processual stance in the philosophy of biology enables us to ground existing critiques of essentialism, reductionism, and mechanicism, all of which have traditionally been associated with substance ontology. We illustrate the consequences of embracing an ontology of processes in biology by considering some of its implications for physiology, genetics, evolution, and medicine. And we attempt to locate the subsequent chapters of the book in relation to the position we defend.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Oxford University Press via the URL in this record.
In: Everything Flows - Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology, edited by Daniel J. Nicholson and John Dupré, pp. 3 - 45