“Organization” as Setting Boundaries of Individual Development

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


“Development” suggests that there is something that is developing, or changing over time. We can ask about temporal boundaries of that developmental process, asking when development begins or ends and whether it has defined stages along the way, for example. We can ask about spatial boundaries as well: where does the developing object start and end? For this article, I ask about the boundary definition of the developing organism in particular. What is an individual organism, and what defines it as the same organism as it changes over time? In particular, how has this been answered historically: how have researchers described and explained what an individual developing organism is? This article explores ideas and approaches especially starting in the late 19th century, and in particular looks at the role of “organization”.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-79
Number of pages7
JournalBiological Theory
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Development
  • Embryo
  • Individual
  • Organism
  • Organization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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