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Interaction: A case of "epistemological exaptation" in the life sciences (Interazione: un caso di "epistemological exaptation" nelle scienze della vita.)
Titolo Rivista:  PARADIGMI
Autori/Curatori: Giulia Frezza
Anno di pubblicazione: 2017 Fascicolo: 2 Lingua: Inglese
Numero pagine: 16 P. 191-206 Dimensione file: 177 KB
DOI: 10.3280/PARA2017-002013
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The concept of interaction is crucial in current life sciences due to its wide use in various fields such as genetics, epigenetics, biomedicine, and epidemiology. Nevertheless, the meaning of the term is ambiguous and its use is subject to criticism. Its generality and cross-disciplinary use could lead to conceiving it as abstract or metaphorical and in epidemiology was object of debate for 40 years. This work aims to outline a preliminary historical-epistemological analysis tracing the scientific background of the concept of interaction. Specifically: it will discuss how the notion of interaction was grounded in early 20th century physics and Gestalttheorie, and then moved into the field of biology; therefore, common patterns in the various definitions of interaction and the epistemological space they have produced through their respective historical correspondences will be pointed out. This is what the author defines the «epistemological exaptation» of the concept of interaction.

Il concetto di interazione è fondamentale nelle scienze attuali per la sua grande diffusione in ambiti quali genetica, epigenetica, biomedicina ed epidemiologia. Tuttavia il significato del termine è ambiguo e il suo utilizzo è soggetto a critiche. La sua generalità e l’uso interdisciplinare lo rendono un termine astratto o metaforico, mentre in epidemiologia è oggetto di discussione da 40 anni. Questo lavoro intende delineare una preliminare analisi storico-epistemologica del concetto di interazione tracciandone il suo inquadramento scientifico. In particolare: si discuterà di come il concetto di interazione è stato fondato agli inizi del XX secolo in fisica e nella Gestalttheorie, entrando solo successivamente nel campo della biologia; si sottolineeranno poi caratteristiche comuni nelle varie definizioni di interazione e lo spazio epistemologico prodotto attraverso le loro rispettive corrispondenze storiche. Questo è ciò che l’autore definisce l’«epistemological exaptation» del concetto di interazione.

Keywords: Embriologia, Epistemologia, Exaptation, Filosofia della scienza, Genetica, Interazione.

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Giulia Frezza, Interaction: A case of "epistemological exaptation" in the life sciences in "PARADIGMI" 2/2017, pp. 191-206, DOI:10.3280/PARA2017-002013


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