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Chapter 5 reconsiders whether we can think of living creatures as discrete organisms rather than as merely effects of the environmental relationships and dynamics in which they live. In other words, it reconsiders the ontological “itness” of biocultural creatures. It does so by exploring the temporality of the relationship between organisms and their habitats. The chapter explains how the permeability of germ cell membranes entails that a creature’s response to a habitat in one generation can shape the development and growth of offspring in subsequent generations via epigenetic markers. The chapter proposes that the cross-generational carrying-forward of creatures’ responses-to-habitat indicates...

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