Comparing the Continuity Theory to Other Immunological Theories
This chapter compares the continuity theory that I propose with the other theories available in today’s immunology, including the self-nonself theory, the systemic theory of the immune “network” (Jerne), the autopoiesis framework (Maturana, Varela, Coutinho), the self-organization theory (Cohen and Atlan), and the danger theory (Matzinger). I emphasize the aspects that the continuity theory borrowed or inherited from these theories, as well as the many aspects on which it differs from them. I show that some frameworks elaborated to understand the immune system are not genuine scientific theories, but rather mere “viewpoints” on immunity. I insist that no framework has, up to now, succeeded in taking into account the importance of both innate immunity and immune tolerance – two aspects that are at the center of the continuity theory.
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