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Sameness in Biology*

Grant Ramsey and Anne Siebels Peterson
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 79, No. 2 (April 2012), pp. 255-275
DOI: 10.1086/664744
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/664744
Page Count: 21
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Sameness in Biology*
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Abstract

Homology is a biological sameness relation that is purported to hold in the face of changes in form, composition, and function. In spite of the centrality and importance of homology, there is no consensus on how we should understand this concept. The two leading views of homology, the genealogical and developmental accounts, have significant shortcomings. We propose a new account, the hierarchical-dependency account of homology, which avoids these shortcomings. Furthermore, our account provides for continuity between special, general, and serial homology.

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