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Levels of Organization in Evo-Devo

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Evolutionary Developmental Biology
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Levels of organization is an ambiguous concept but typically refers to entities at a higher level being composed of entities at a lower level. Understood in this way, levels of organization have played an important role in various branches of biology, including evo-devo. However, sustained attempts at defining or characterizing levels precisely have been rare. The most significant approaches are Wimsatt’s theory of levels of organization, Craver’s account of levels of mechanisms, and recent skeptical or deflationary perspectives. Although many definitions of levels of organization face various difficulties, their flexibility and intuitive appeal suggest that the concept is likely to remain active in biological research, including in evo-devo.

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I would like to thank Laura Bringmann, Dan Brooks and the editors (Laura Nuño de la Rosa and Alan Love) for their very helpful comments on earlier versions of this chapter.

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Correspondence to Markus I. Eronen .

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Eronen, M.I. (2020). Levels of Organization in Evo-Devo. In: Nuno de la Rosa, L., Müller, G. (eds) Evolutionary Developmental Biology. Springer, Cham.

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