Processes and Precipitates
Simons (Peter)
Source: Dupre (John) & Nicholson (Daniel J.), Eds. - Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. Biology is about things: organisms, but also about the processes in which they and their parts are involved as participants — reproduction, growth, respiration, hibernation, migration, interaction, selection, adaptation, evolution. The deeper one goes, the more these processes seem to matter — processes such as mitosis, meiosis, catabolism, anabolism, and so on. Yet at each stage we are confronted with the same dichotomy between things and the processes in which they are involved, down to molecules and their reactions.
  2. Is it possible to conceptualize a metaphysically superior revisionist biology in which everything basic is processual, without losing touch with the things of standard biological discourse? This chapter argues that it is, by understanding continuant things as precipitates of processes and thus by construing the whole organic sphere as au fond processual.

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