To Be Continued: The Genidentity of Physical and Biological Processes

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Individuals Across the Sciences, Page: 317-347

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Guay, Alexandre; Pradeu, Thomas
Oxford University Press
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article description
The concept of genidentity has been proposed as a way to better understand identity through time, especially in physics and biology. The genidentity view is utterly anti-substantialist in so far as it suggests that the identity of X through time does not presuppose whatsoever the existence of a permanent “core” or “substrate” of X. Yet applications of this concept to real science have been scarce and unsatisfying. In this paper, our aim is to show that a well-defined concept of functional genidentity can be crucial to shed light on identity through time in classical physics and especially in biology. Finally, we show that understanding identity on the basis of continuity suggests a move towards an ontology of processes.