Skip to main content


Landscapes of Collectivity in the Life Sciences

Snait B. Gissis (Editor), Ehud Lamm (Editor), Ayelet Shavit (Editor)

Hardcover

List Price: 60.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

Broad perspective on collectivity in the life sciences, from microorganisms to human consensus, and the theoretical and empirical opportunities and challenges.

Many researchers and scholars in the life sciences have become increasingly critical of the traditional methodological focus on the individual. This volume counters such methodological individualism by exploring recent and influential work in the life sciences that utilizes notions of collectivity, sociality, rich interactions, and emergent phenomena as essential explanatory tools to handle numerous persistent scientific questions in the life sciences. The contributors consider case studies of collectivity that range from microorganisms to human consensus, discussing theoretical and empirical challenges and the innovative methods and solutions scientists have devised.

The contributors offer historical, philosophical, and biological perspectives on collectivity, and describe collective phenomena seen in insects, the immune system, communication, and human collectivity, with examples ranging from cooperative transport in the longhorn crazy ant to the evolution of autobiographical memory. They examine ways of explaining collectivity, including case studies and modeling approaches, and explore collectivity's explanatory power. They present a comprehensive look at a specific case of collectivity: the Holobiont notion (the idea of a multi-species collective, a host and diverse microorganisms) and the hologenome theory (which posits that the holobiont and its hologenome are a unit of adaption). The volume concludes with reflections on the work of the late physicist Eshel Ben-Jacob, pioneer in the study of collective phenomena in living systems.

Contributors
Oren Bader, John Beatty, Dinah R. Davison, Daniel Dor, Ofer Feinerman, Raghavendra Gadagkar, Scott F. Gilbert, Snait B. Gissis, Deborah M. Gordon, James Griesemer, Zachariah I. Grochau-Wright, Erik R. Hanschen, Eva Jablonka, Mohit Kumar Jolly, Anat Kolumbus, Ehud Lamm, Herbert Levine, Arnon Levy, Xue-Fei Li, Elisabeth A. Lloyd, Yael Lubin, Eva Maria Luef, Ehud Meron, Richard E. Michod, Samir Okasha, Simone Pika, Joan Roughgarden, Eugene Rosenberg, Ayelet Shavit, Yael Silver, Alfred I. Tauber, Ilana Zilber-Rosenberg

MIT Press, 9780262036856, 432pp.

Publication Date: January 12, 2018



About the Author

Snait B. Gissis is a Researcher in the Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas at Tel Aviv University and the coeditor of Transformations of Lamarckism (MIT Press). Ehud Lamm is Senior Lecturer in the Cohn Institute at Tel Aviv University and the head of the Inter-university PhD program in History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences. Ayelet Shavit is Senior Lecturer in the Departments of Interdisciplinary Studies and Environmental Science and Head of the Philosophy Program at Tel-Hai College, Israel. James R. Griesemer is Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of California, Davis. Alfred I. Tauber is the Zoltan Kohn Professor of Medicine, Professor of Philosophy, and Director of the Center for Philosophy and History of Science at Boston University. Eva Jablonka is Professor at Tel-Aviv University. She is the coauthor of Evolution in Four Dimensions: Genetic, Epigenetic, Behavioral, and Symbolic Variation in the History of Life and the coeditor of Transformations of Lamarckism: From Subtle Fluids to Molecular Biology, both published by the MIT Press. Ayelet Shavit is Senior Lecturer in the Departments of Interdisciplinary Studies and Environmental Science and Head of the Philosophy Program at Tel-Hai College, Israel. Alfred I. Tauber is the Zoltan Kohn Professor of Medicine, Professor of Philosophy, and Director of the Center for Philosophy and History of Science at Boston University. Ehud Lamm is Senior Lecturer in the Cohn Institute at Tel Aviv University and the head of the Inter-university PhD program in History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences.