Jumping concepts and other transpositions: the Keller effect in/on discourses of living systems

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Abstract

Evelyn Fox Keller’s work has long focused on the discontinuities that seem to punctuate discourses on living systems. The discourse of gene action, for example, focuses on the uncanny shift of agency from organism to genome, where the empirical ‘action’ of a living system becomes attributed to its genes. Shifts in these regimes of description become akin to conceptual transpositions, ‘jumping concepts’ parallel to the ‘jumping genes’ perceived by McClintock. This chapter will investigate Keller’s treatment of these shifts in parallel with her early work on slime mold aggregation, as both the holistic coherence of a living system or a discourse becomes visible through its sudden shifts - the Keller Effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)416-431
Number of pages16
JournalInterdisciplinary Science Reviews
Volume45
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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