Mutualistic viruses and the heteronomy of life.

Citation data:

Studies in history and philosophy of biological and biomedical sciences, ISSN: 1879-2499, Vol: 59, Page: 80-8

Publication Year:
Usage 242
Downloads 164
Abstract Views 72
Link-outs 6
Social Media 1
Tweets 1
Citations 10
Citation Indexes 10
Repository URL:
Pradeu, Thomas
Elsevier BV
Arts and Humanities
Most Recent Tweet View All Tweets
article description
Though viruses have generally been characterized by their pathogenic and more generally harmful effects, many examples of mutualistic viruses exist. Here I explain how the idea of mutualistic viruses has been defended in recent virology, and I explore four important conceptual and practical consequences of this idea. I ask to what extent this research modifies the way scientists might search for new viruses, our notion of how the host immune system interacts with microbes, the development of new therapeutic approaches, and, finally, the role played by the criterion of autonomy in our understanding of living things. Overall, I suggest that the recognition of mutualistic viruses plays a major role in a wider ongoing revision of our conception of viruses.