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Table of Contents

Table of Contents Introduction - Taking Interdependence Seriously A brief sketch of what's to come Chapter 1 - It Depends: Existence as Contingent Small worlds Introducing key concepts: reality, existence, and contingency Features of contingentism What contingentism is not Signal transduction and the book's organization Encouragement to stick with a challenging topic Chapter 2 - What Do Objects Depend On?: Physical Substance, Matter, and the External World Assumption of the intrinsic boundedness and continuity of objects Assumption of the intrinsic boundedness and continuity of particles Assumption of the intrinsic existence of (emergent) properties Assumption of the intrinsic existence of causal powers Assumption of the unified object of sense perceptions (both within and between observers) Assumption of non-impingement: "Whatever it is, it sure doesn't depend on us" Chapter summary Chapter 3 - What Does Sensing Depend On?: Transduction, Energy, and the Meeting of Worlds An overview of signal transduction Signal transduction and cell sensing Assumption of sameness and difference Assumption of energy as a kind of substance Relating physical and psychological phenomena Re-viewing sensing: new views of transformation and change Chapter summary Chapter 4 - What Do Organisms Depend On?: Bodies, Lives, Selves, and Internal Worlds Assumption of the boundedness and continuity of organisms Assumption of the coordinator and the experiencer Assumption of intrinsically existent "other minds": why do we take one another seriously as subjects? Assumption of a ground: physicalism, idealism, dualism, and contingentism What does your life depend on? Chapter summary Chapter 5 - What Does Order Depend On?: Patterns, Gaps, and the Known World On cognitive patterns and cognitive dissonance: what does order depend on? Assumption of the intrinsic existence of contradictions: what does surprise depend on? Assumption of intrinsic hierarchies of order: what makes a good theory? Assumption of a single origin and a linear history Assumption of knowledge as limited: exactly where are the gaps between organismal experience and reality? Chapter summary Conclusion - Life As We Know It "Nothing but net": thoroughgoing contingency and the absence of inherent existence Why "contingentism"?: genealogies, relations, and intellectual kindred The many forms that wonder takes Coda: Small, vast worlds Acknowledgments: What Does This Book Depend On? References

About the Author

Kriti Sharma, a microbiologist, is completing her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


"Kriti Sharma has written a remarkable book that moves seamlessly from the empirical world of biology-indeed, the microscales of test tubes and cells and molecules-to the consideration of the broadest philosophical concepts that define how we comprehend existence itself. The writing is lively and the illustrations are drawn from a wide and interdisciplinary range of sources and experiences, yet the development of the ideas is scholarly, careful, and well documented. Interdependence: Biology and Beyond will elevate and churn your thinking. It is Sharma's first book and the reader feels privileged to be present at the start of an exciting intellectual journey." -- -Peter White University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill "In setting forth her vision of contingentism-that objects are really webs of processes contingent on multiple interacting conditions-Sharma moves eloquently back and forth between biology and philosophy. The book is a model of accessible but serious and elegant science writing." -- -Evan Thompson University of British Columbia "It is a rare treat to indulge in reading a work that switches between philosophical reasoning and empirical biology. This is just what Sharma does, illuminating the concept of interdependence from its everyday usage to focus in on the micro-scale network of processes that are contingent on interactions of organisms with one another and their environments." -The Biologist "Interdependence is an exceptionally original work of comprehensive theorizing. Conceptually subtle, empirically rigorous, and compellingly argued, it addresses some of the most fundamental questions in theoretical biology and demonstrates their close relation to central problems in our ideas of knowledge, existence, and reality." -- -Barbara Herrnstein Smith author, Scandalous Knowledge: Science, Truth and the Human

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