Transcendental biology

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This essay shows how Conrad Hal Waddington is at the very center of divergent genealogies of theoretical biology: he is at once remembered for his contribution to epigenetics and complex systems biology (in its current formation) and largely forgotten for the debt that he owes to Alfred North Whitehead's philosophy of organism. The essay traces Waddington's debt to Whitehead and demonstrates the way in which this conceptual lineage challenges the transcendental conditions of biological knowledge presupposed by the reigning paradigm of complex systems biology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1155-1180
Number of pages26
JournalPhilosophy Today
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Complex systems
  • Epigenetics
  • Process philosophy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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