ADVANTAGES

The original conceptualization of an immune self was based on notionsof insular agency and correspondingly ignored the role immunity playedin permitting benign, cooperative relationships characteristic of anorganism’s ecological interactions. On this view, again derivedfrom the host-pathogen model and the immune specificity required todiscern friend from foe, immunity became the mechanism by which aself, conceived as having definitive borders, defends itself. Thatagenda required defining the components of immunity and theirregulation as a self-contained system (Moulin 1989, 1991,2001). Accordingly, in this formulation the self as a distinct,circumscribed entity could not have been more divorced fromits environment.

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