Leibnizian organisms, nested individuals, and units of selection

  title={Leibnizian organisms, nested individuals, and units of selection},
  author={Ohad Nachtomy and Ayelet Shavit and Justin E. H. Smith},
  journal={Theory in Biosciences},
SummaryLeibniz developed a new notion of individuality, according to which individuals are nested one within another, thereby abandoning the Aristotelian formula at the heart of substantialist metaphysics, ‘one body, one substance’. On this model, the level of individuality is determined by the degree of activity, and partly defined by its relations with other individuals. In this article, we show the importance of this new notion of individuality for some persisting questions in theoretical… 
Individuals at the Center of Biology: Rudolf Leuckart’s Polymorphismus der Individuen and the Ongoing Narrative of Parts and Wholes. With an Annotated Translation
It is argued that biological individuality was as central a problem to naturalists before 1859 as evolution, and that Leuckart’s contributions to it left a long legacy that persisted well into the twentieth century.
The organism as ontological go-between: hybridity, boundaries and degrees of reality in its conceptual history.
  • C. Wolfe
  • Philosophy
    Studies in history and philosophy of biological and biomedical sciences
  • 2014
Kant vs. Leibniz in the Second Antinomy: Organisms Are Not Infinitely Subtle Machines
Abstract: This paper interprets the two pages devoted in the Critique of Pure Reason to a critique of Leibniz’s view of organisms as infinitely organized machines. It argues that this issue of
The Soul as Spiritual Automaton in Leibniz's Synthetic Natural Philosophy
This dissertation is a study Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz’s repeated characterization of the soul as a “spiritual” or “incorporeal” automaton. Within Leibniz’s mature period philosophy of nature, souls
Leibniz on the Divine Preformation of Souls and Bodies
  • Christopher P. Noble
  • Philosophy
    HOPOS: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science
  • 2019
For the mature Leibniz, a living being is a created substance composed of an infinitely complex organic body and a simple, immaterial soul. Soul and body do not interact directly, but rather their
A Leibnizian Fieldwork: Zebra Stripes and the Monadology
Many fieldworkers, in particular ethnographers, entertain a critical stance against ‘armchair philosophers.’ For instance, Philippe Descola affirms that no amount of suspension of belief — a
On the advantage of sharing a holdfast: effects of density and occurrence of kin aggregation in the kelp Lessonia berteroana
Density dependence and kin structure suggest that the occurrence of plurigeno-typic organisms is linked to environmental quality, and that kin or multilevel selection may be favouring the fusion of genetically related genets.
Pauline Phemister, Leibniz and the Environment, Oxford/New York: Routledge 2016, xii + 196 pp.
provides a set of metaphysical beliefs about the fundamental nature of reality, an integrated system of ethical and aesthetic values, and a vision of the world’s perfection and the inherent goodness
Ecosystem Metabolisms and Functions
  • T. Snow
  • Environmental Science
    FormAkademisk - forskningstidsskrift for design og designdidaktikk
  • 2020
The framework and model describe ecosystem functions based on foundational metabolisms (producers, consumers and decomposers), and their interactions with each other and ‘nutrient pools’ within their collective environment.


Individuality and adaptation across levels of selection: how shall we name and generalize the unit of Darwinism?
  • S. Gould, E. Lloyd
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1999
It is shown here that different features define Darwinian individuality across scales of size and time, and that species-individuals may develop few emergent features as direct adaptations.
The Units of Selection and the Structure of the Multi-Level Genome
  • W. Wimsatt
  • Biology
    PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association
  • 1980
This analysis provides a way of defining genotype and phenotype for cultural evolution, and a treatment of the innate-acquired distinction which are both generalizeable to analyze problems of the nature and focus of scientific change.
Individuality and Selection
Evolutionary theory is currently undergoing a period of rapid development, but in the process several problems have cropped up that are proving to be infuriatingly difficult to resolve-e.g. the
The principle of natural selection as the motive force for evolution was framed by Darwin in terms of a "struggle for existence" on the part of organisms living in a finite and risky environment. The
The theory of organism and the culturalist foundation of biology
In order to clarify the methodological status of the organism in biology, the term organism is introduced as a concept of notion and a constructional morphological case study exemplifies the applicability of this concept.
Inheritance systems and the evolution of new levels of individuality.
It is argued that EISs played a vital role in the transition to multicellularity and the evolution of complex ontogenies, as well as having an important effect on the development of developmental strategies which protect the multice cellular individual from disintegrating into its component parts.
Organisms and their place in biology
The tension between those hierarchical schemes proposed to account for life as a global phenomenon and those approaches that take organisms as the central target of (theoretical) biology are released, suggesting a possible middle-ground solution open for further research.
The extended replicator
This paper evaluates and criticises the developmental systems conception of evolution and develops instead an extension of the “gene's eye” conception of Evolution, which recognises both genetic and non-genetic replicators, lineages of replicators and interactors.
On some theoretical grounds for an organism-centered biology: Property emergence, supervenience, and downward causation
It is maintained that a philosophical alternative worthy of investigation is that of a combination of supervenience and property emergence in the formulation of such a stance, and a new definition of an emergent property is discussed.
This review attempts to place the modem concept of group selection within its historical context by examining how its development is often haphazard and unsystematic.