Special Issue "New Perspectives of Immunity: From Science to Metaphysics"

A special issue of Philosophies (ISSN 2409-9287).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2022) | Viewed by 1470

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Hidetaka Yakura
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute for Science and Human Existence, Tokyo 163-8001, Japan
Interests: metaphysical and epistemological problems posed by immunology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Recent advances in immunology are transforming our view of the immune system and the phenomenon of immunity. For example, the specificity of antigen recognition and the existence of various forms of immunological memory blurs the boundary between adaptive immunity and innate immunity. It has been clarified that the immune system is closely associated, more than ever, with other systems in an organism, such as the nervous system, the endocrine system, and the metabolic system, such that the immune system appears to be coterminous with the organismal whole. Research that traces the phylogenetic tree also provides us food for thought regarding how to interpret the essential feature of the immune system. The current state with this unprecedented new information can be called a “philosophical situation.” We must face these facts anew and re-question the fundamental issues, such as specificity, cellular activation and regulation, self-recognition, innate and adaptive immunity, immunological memory, homeostatic regulation of biological polarity, and the psychoneuroendocrinoimmune network, and how to consider the immune system and the essential feature of immunity. Furthermore, the omnipresence of immunity in the living realm provides an opportunity to think about organisms and life from the perspective of immunity. To advance these processes, both synchronic and diachronic analysis is indispensable. In this special issue of “immunophilosophy,” we aim to review the current state of our scientific understanding of immunity and deepen analyses of individual phenomena within it or immunity in its totality from the perspectives of science, philosophy, history, and metaphysics. In doing so, we hope to stimulate transdisciplinary discussions and set the stage for establishing a new paradigm, which will serve as a guidepost for future research. We welcome the contributions of papers in this direction or from other promising perspectives.

Dr. Hidetaka Yakura
Guest Editor

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  • biological polarity
  • cognition
  • homeostasis
  • immune system
  • immunity
  • memory
  • metaphysics
  • psychoneuroendocrinoimmune network

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Immunity in Light of Spinoza and Canguilhem
Philosophies 2020, 5(4), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies5040038 - 13 Nov 2020
Viewed by 822
All living organisms are under stress imposed by their surrounding environments. They must adapt to their stressors to live and survive. At the forefront of this adaptation is a defense system called immunity. Immunity, as the most ancient cognitive apparatus with memory function, [...] Read more.
All living organisms are under stress imposed by their surrounding environments. They must adapt to their stressors to live and survive. At the forefront of this adaptation is a defense system called immunity. Immunity, as the most ancient cognitive apparatus with memory function, is present in all living organisms. In previous reports, minimal cognitive function was defined as a “biologized” concept—namely, perception of elements in a milieu, integration of perceived information, reaction according to integrated information, and memory of that experience. In this study, I aim to explore the essential feature of immunity by synthesizing scientific facts and “metaphysicalizing” them with logical reasoning. As a result of my analysis, I have realized the essential element in immunity: the capacity to preserve the existence of organisms by regulating their physiology and pathology. Having further analyzed immunity with special reference to the philosophy of Baruch Spinoza and George Canguilhem, conatus (“appetite”, to be precise) with normative activities is deeply embedded in immunity and may constitute its essential feature. Given that conatus and normativity imply mental elements, including the judgment of good and bad or health and disease, it is possible to conclude that the essential function of immunity includes cognition with normative connotations. This inclusive view encourages us to rethink the fundamental nature and philosophical implications of immunity from the cognitive perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspectives of Immunity: From Science to Metaphysics)
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