Biological Individuality and the Foetus Problem

Abstract

The Problem of Biological Individuality is the problem of how to count organisms. Whilst counting organisms may seem easy, the biological world is full of difficult cases such as colonial siphonophores and aspen tree groves. One of the main solutions to the Problem of Biological Individuality is the Physiological Approach. Drawing on an argument made by Eric Olson in the personal identity debate, I argue that the Physiological Approach faces a metaphysical problem – the ‘Foetus Problem’. This paper illustrates how metaphysics can contribute to debates about organisms in the philosophy of biology.

June 22, 2022 at 12:12AM

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