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Entangled Life

Organism and Environment in the Biological and Social Sciences

  • Book
  • © 2014


  • Integrates discussions in biology and social sciences about the relation between organism and environment
  • Investigates the historical development of discussions of organism-environment interaction
  • Provides historical and philosophical analyses of the organism-environment relationship with consequences for scientific research on this topic?
  • Includes supplementary material:

Part of the book series: History, Philosophy and Theory of the Life Sciences (HPTL, volume 4)

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About this book

This volume explores the interactions between organisms and their environments and how this “entanglement” is a fundamental aspect of all life. It brings together the work and ideas of historians, philosophers, biologists, and social scientists, uniting a range of new perspectives, methods, and frameworks for examining and understanding the ways that organisms and environments interact.

The volume is organized into three main sections: historical perspectives, contested models, and emerging frameworks. The first section explores the origins of the modern idea of organism-environment interaction in the mid-nineteenth century and its development by later psychologists and anthropologists. In the second section, a variety of controversial models—from mathematical representations of evolution to model organisms in medical research—are discussed and reframed in light of recent questions about the interplay between organisms and environment. The third section investigates several new ideas that have the potential to reshape key aspects of the biological and social sciences.

Populations of organisms evolve in response to changing environments; bodies and minds depend on a wide array of circumstances for their development; cultures create complex relationships with the natural world even as they alter it irrevocably. The chapters in this volume share a commitment to unraveling the mysteries of this entangled life.

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Table of contents (13 chapters)

  1. Contested Models

  2. Emerging Frameworks

Editors and Affiliations

  • Department of Philosophy, Western University, London, Canada

    Gillian Barker, Eric Desjardins

  • Department of Philosophy, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, USA

    Trevor Pearce

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