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The Limits of the SelfImmunology and Biological Identity$
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Thomas Pradeu

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199775286

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199775286.001.0001

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Comparing the Continuity Theory to Other Immunological Theories

Comparing the Continuity Theory to Other Immunological Theories

(p.185) Chapter 5 Comparing the Continuity Theory to Other Immunological Theories
The Limits of the Self

Thomas Pradeu

Elizabeth Vitanza

Oxford University Press

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.

Keywords:   systemic theories, idiotypic network, autoimmunity, nervous system, language, autopoiesis, self-organization, danger, damage, antigen-presenting cells

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