LEIBNIZ’S PRINCIPLE OF CONTINUITY AND THE CONCEPT OF HOMOLOGY IN BIOLOGY

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Transliteration of original Title: 
Printsip nepreryvnosti Leybnitsa i kontseptsiya gomologii v biologii
Author(s): 
Alexander Pozdnyakov
Institute of Systematics and Ecology of Animals, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Issue number: 
No. 4 (Vol. 46)
Pages: 
199-212
Abstract: 

This article discusses the problem of the influence of the Leibniz’ continuity principle on the concept of structural plan and homology formation in biology. The concept of body plan was established for the justification of the thesis about the structural sameness of the all living objects at the organismal level. However, the continuity hypothesis testing which was made on the  comparative anatomical material has showed the impossibility of reducing the animals structure explanation to the single plan. The idea of ​​organic evolution has made it possible to present the continuity of the organic world as a historical consistency. From an evolutionary point of view homology was interpreted as a homogeny .That made it possible to consider the continuity of the organic world on the suborganismal level. This hypothesis was tested on the embryological material. The results, however, showed that the morphological structures, which seemed to be identical according to the first criterion of the Remane homology and occurred epigenetically, are not really gomogenic. This fact does not allow us to recognize the continuity of the organic world on the suborganismal level. The key concepts of classical biological disciplines (comparative anatomy, systematics, evolutionism) could be reconciled only on the basis of the discrete principle.

Keywords: 
philosophy of biology, principle of continuity, body plan, homology, homogeny
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DOI: 
10.5840/eps201546461
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