Without doubt the noun gene is one of the most important words in life sciences. From its very introduction it has held a certain ambiguity and uncertainty. Both scientists and philosophers have attempted to reveal the nature of a gene. However, despite the abundance of attempts to clarify the definition, we might not actually need to unite the various suggested definitions into one. As Evelyn Fox Keller has pointed out (2000: 139–41), the ambiguity of this noun makes communication between scientists from diverse disciplines far easier, because it enables them to refer to slightly different entities using a single term. Since it is much more difficult for scientists from different disciplines and with different perspectives to use exactly the same definition, such ambiguity is critical for fruitful communication. In addition, this noun has greatly contributed to forming a synthesized view...
Gene: From Demarcation to Dynamic Meanings
Tomoko Ishida is a Japanese philosopher. Currently she is a part-time lecturer at Keio University. Her main fields of interest are philosophy of biology (especially gene and genetic information), evolutionary ethics, and moral psychology. Much of her research focuses on epistemological aspects of these issues.
Tomoko Ishida; Gene: From Demarcation to Dynamic Meanings. East Asian Science, Technology and Society 1 September 2017; 11 (3): 397–403. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/18752160-3916605
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