•  173
    Advocates of the computational theory of mind claim that the mind is a computer whose operations can be implemented by various computational systems. According to these philosophers, the mind is multiply realisable because—as they claim—thinking involves the manipulation of syntactically structured mental representations. Since syntactically structured representations can be made of different kinds of material while performing the same calculation, mental processes can also be implemented by dif…Read more
  •  49
    Immune balance: The development of the idea and its applications
    Journal of the History of Biology 47 (3): 411-442. 2014.
    It has long been taken for granted that the immune system’s capacity to protect an individual from infection and disease depends on the power of the system to distinguish between self and nonself. However, accumulating data have undermined this fundamental concept. Evidence against the self/nonself discrimination model left researchers in need of a new overarching framework able to capture the immune system’s reactivity. Here, I highlight that along with the self/nonself model, another powerful…Read more
  •  48
    One of the fundamental questions of life sciences is one of whether there are genuinely random biological processes. An affirmative or negative answer to this question may have important methodological consequences. It appears that a number of biological processes are explicitly classified as random. One of them is the so-called somatic hypermutation. However, closer analysis of somatic hypermutation reveals that it is not a genuinely random process. Somatic hypermutation is called random becaus…Read more
  •  44
    Systemic features of immune recognition in the gut
    with Maria Rescigno and Irun Cohen
    Microbes and Infection 13 983-991. 2011.
    The immune system, to protect the body, must discriminate between the pathogenic and non-pathogenic microbes and respond to them in different ways. How the mucosal immune system manages to make this distinction is poorly understood. We suggest here that the distinction between pathogenic and non-pathogenic microbes is made by an integrated system rather than by single types of cells or single types of receptors; a systems biology approach is needed to understand immune recognition.
  •  31
    Towards an ecological view of immunity (review)
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A. forthcoming.
    The immune system does not just fight pathogens but also engages in interactions with beneficial microbes and non-immune cells of the body to harmonize their behavior by means of cytokines, antibodies and effector cells (Dinarello, 2007; Moticka, 2015, pp. 217e226, 261e267). However, the importance of these “housekeeping” functions has not been fully appreciated (Cohen, 2000). In his new book Immunity: The Evolution of an Idea Alfred I. Tauber traces the history of fundamental ideas in immunolog…Read more
  •  31
    Coordination of immune responses in the gut is a complex task. In order to fight pathogens and maintain a defined population of commensal microbes, the mucosal immune system has to coordinate information from the external (luminal) and internal (abluminal) environment and respond accordingly. Dendritic cells (DCs) are crucial cell types involved in this process as they integrate these signals and direct immunogenic or tolerogenic responses. Here, we review how various functions of DCs depend on …Read more
  •  29
    Gut feelings of safety: Tolerance to the microbiota mediated by innate immune receptors
    with Irun R. Cohen
    Microbiology and Immunology 59 573-585. 2015.
    To enable microbial colonisation of the gut mucosa, the intestinal immune system must not only react to danger signals but also recognize cues that indicate safety. Safety recognition, paradoxically, is mediated by the same environmental sensors that are involved in signalling danger. Indeed, in addition to their well established role in inducing inflammation in response to stress signals, pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) and a variety of metabolic sensors also promote gut-microbiota symbios…Read more
  •  18
    Immunity by William Paul is an overview of fundamental principles of immunology and their experimental basis. The book includes not only well- established facts about the immune system but also recent findings (the role of Th17 cells, regulatory T cells, inflammasomes, etc.), which are skillfully incorporated into the framework of immunological understanding. The presentation is clear and emotionally charged, which makes the reading of Immunity enjoyable. Despite the original intentions, though,…Read more
  •  18
    Holoimmunity Revisited
    with Alfred I. Tauber
    Bioessays 40 (11): 1800117. 2018.
  •  14
    Philosophy of immunology
    with Bartlomiej Swiatczak and Alfred I. Tauber
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2020. 2020.
    Philosophy of immunology is a subfield of philosophy of biology dealing with ontological and epistemological issues related to the studies of the immune system. While speculative investigations and abstract analyses have always been part of immune theorizing, until recently philosophers have largely ignored immunology. Yet the implications for understanding the philosophical basis of organismal functions framed by immunity offer new perspectives on fundamental questions of biology and medicine. …Read more
  •  5
    Towards an ecological view of immunity
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 63 85-88. 2017.
  •  5
    Somatic diversification of antigen receptor genes depends on the activity of enzymes whose homologs participate in a mutagenic DNA repair in unicellular species. Indeed, by engaging error‐prone polymerases, gap filling molecules and altered mismatch repair pathways, lymphocytes utilize conserved components of genomic stress response systems, which can already be found in bacteria and archaea. These ancient systems of mutagenesis and repair act to increase phenotypic diversity of microbial cell p…Read more
  •  5
    Francisco Vareli wizja systemu immunologicznego
    Ruch Filozoficzny 75 (2): 209. 2019.