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The Limits of the Self – Immunology and Biological Identity - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Limits of the Self: Immunology and Biological Identity

Thomas Pradeu


What counts as an individual in the living world? What does it mean for a living thing to remain the same through time while constantly changing? Immunology, one of the most dynamic fields of today’s biology, considers these questions its province, and answers them through its crucial concepts of “self” and “nonself.” Though immunology has been dominated since the 1940s by the self-nonself theory, this book argues that this theory is inadequate, because immune responses to self constituents and immune tolerance of foreign entities are the rule, not the exception. An alternative theory, the con ... More

Keywords: individual, identity, self, organism, immunology, immune system, philosophy of immunology, philosophy of biology

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780199775286
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199775286.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Thomas Pradeu, author
Paris-Sorbonne University