Tag Archives: Johannsen

Genotype-phenotype distinction, with schemas

A revised entry on the genotype-phenotype distinction has been published by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. A major difficulty we had preparing this revision followed once it was noted that philosophers write on the genotype-phenotype relationship, not on the genotype-phenotype distinction. Continue reading

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Making sense of genotype-phenotype distinctions, version 5

The predominant current-day meaning of genotype is the DNA passed to the organism by its parents. The phenotype is the physical and behavioral characteristics of the organism, for example, size and shape, metabolic activities, and patterns of movement. The distinction between the terms seems straightforward, but their use opens up a range of conceptual and methodological questions. Continue reading

Making sense of genotype-phenotype distinctions, version 3

Two foundational developments of modern biology—the theories of evolution by natural selection and the genetic basis of heredity—were built from the language, arguments, evidence, and practices of controlled breeding in agriculture and the laboratory.   The genotype-phenotype distinction—or, rather, a series of different meanings of those terms—provides an entry point into the implications of that genesis and subsequent developments. Complexities get suppressed, which engenders new problems and complexity-recovering responses. Many of these are raised or implied by Johannsen (1911), where the terms genotype and phenotype were introduced to English-language readers. Continue reading

Making sense of genotype-phenotype distinctions, version 2

The genotype-phenotype distinction—or, rather, the array of such distinctions—provides an entry point into the implications of the two foundational developments of modern biology—the theories of evolution by natural selection and the genetic basis of heredity—being built from the language, arguments, evidence, and practices of controlled breeding in agriculture and the laboratory.   Complexities get suppressed, which engenders new problems and complexity-recovering efforts. Continue reading

Making sense of genotype-phenotype distinctions

Since the terms genotype, phenotype, and gene were coined by Johannsen (1911), four conceptually distinct meanings of genotype have emerged: Continue reading