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  1. Kevin S. Amidon (2008). Adolf Meyer-Abich, Holism, and the Negotiation of Theoretical Biology. Biological Theory 3 (4):357-370.
    Adolf Meyer-Abich spent his career as one of the most vigorous and varied advocates in the biological sciences. Primarily a philosophical proponent of holistic thought in biology, he also sought through collaboration with empirically oriented colleagues in biology, medicine, and even physics to develop arguments against mechanistic and reductionistic positions in the life sciences, and to integrate them into a newly disciplinary theoretical biology. He participated in major publishing efforts including the founding of Acta Biotheoretica. He also sought international contacts (...)
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  2. Holly Andersen (forthcoming). Reduction in the Biomedical Sciences. In Miriam Solomon, Jeremy Simon & Harold Kincaid (eds.), Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Medicine. Routledge
    This chapter discusses several kinds of reduction that are often found in the biomedical sciences, in contrast to reduction in fields such as physics. This includes reduction as a methodological assumption for how to investigate phenomena like complex diseases, and reduction as a conceptual tool for relating distinct models of the same phenomenon. The case of Parkinson’s disease illustrates a wide variety of ways in which reductionism is an important tool in medicine.
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  3. Michal Arciszewski (2013). Reducing the Dauer Larva: Molecular Models of Biological Phenomena in Caenorhabditis Elegans Research. Synthese 190 (18):4155-4179.
    One important aspect of biological explanation is detailed causal modeling of particular phenomena in limited experimental background conditions. Recognising this allows one to appreciate that a sufficient condition for a reduction in biology is a molecular model of (1) only the demonstrated causal parameters of a biological model and (2) only within a replicable experimental background. These identities—which are ubiquitous in biology and form the basis of ruthless reductions (Bickle, Philosophy and neuroscience: a ruthlessly reductive account, 2003)—are criticised as merely (...)
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  4. Francisco Ayala (2004). What Makes Biology Unique? Ernst Mayr at 100. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 26 (2):243 - 256.
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  5. Tudor Baetu (2012). Emergence, Therefore Antireductionism? A Critique of Emergent Antireductionism. Biology and Philosophy 27 (3):433-448.
    Emergent antireductionism in biological sciences states that even though all living cells and organisms are composed of molecules, molecular wholes are characterized by emergent properties that can only be understood from the perspective of cellular and organismal levels of composition. Thus, an emergence claim (molecular wholes are characterized by emergent properties) is thought to support a form of antireductionism (properties of higher-level molecular wholes can only be understood by taking into account concepts, theories and explanations dealing with higher-level entities). I (...)
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  6. Matthew J. Barker (2013). Biological Explanations, Realism, Ontology, and Categories. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):617-622.
  7. Matthew J. Barker (2010). Specious intrinsicalism. Philosophy of Science 77 (1):73-91.
    Over the last 2,300 years or so, many philosophers have believed that species are individuated by essences that are at least in part intrinsic. Psychologists tell us most folks also believe this view. But most philosophers of biology have abandoned the view, in light of evolutionary conceptions of species. In defiance, Michael Devitt has attempted in this journal to resurrect a version of the view, which he calls Intrinsic Biological Essentialism. I show that his arguments for the resurrection fail, and (...)
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  8. Matthew J. Barker & Robert A. Wilson (2010). Cohesion, Gene Flow, and the Nature of Species. Journal of Philosophy 107 (2):59-77.
    A far-reaching and influential view in evolutionary biology claims that species are cohesive units held together by gene flow. Biologists have recognized empirical problems facing this view; after sharpening the expression of the view, we present novel conceptual problems for it. At the heart of these problems is a distinction between two importantly different concepts of cohesion, what we call integrative and response cohesion. Acknowledging the distinction problematizes both the explanandum of species cohesion and the explanans of gene flow that (...)
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  9. Fred Boogerd, Frank Bruggeman, Catholijn Jonker, Huib Looren de Jong, Allard Tamminga, Jan Treur, Hans Westerhoff & Wouter Wijngaards (2002). Inter-Level Relations in Computer Science, Biology, and Psychology. Philosophical Psychology 15 (4):463–471.
    Investigations into inter-level relations in computer science, biology and psychology call for an *empirical* turn in the philosophy of mind. Rather than concentrate on *a priori* discussions of inter-level relations between 'completed' sciences, a case is made for the actual study of the way inter-level relations grow out of the developing sciences. Thus, philosophical inquiries will be made more relevant to the sciences, and, more importantly, philosophical accounts of inter-level relations will be testable by confronting them with what really happens (...)
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  10. Ingo Brigandt & Alan Love (2008). Reductionism in Biology. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Reductionism encompasses a set of ontological, epistemological, and methodological claims about the relation of different scientific domains. The basic question of reduction is whether the properties, concepts, explanations, or methods from one scientific domain (typically at higher levels of organization) can be deduced from or explained by the properties, concepts, explanations, or methods from another domain of science (typically one about lower levels of organization). Reduction is germane to a variety of issues in philosophy of science, including the structure of (...)
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  11. Matteo Colombo & Cory D. Wright (forthcoming). Explanatory Pluralism: An Unrewarding Prediction Error for Free Energy Theorists. Brain and Cognition.
    Courtesy of its free energy formulation, the hierarchical predictive processing theory of the brain (PTB) is often claimed to be a grand unifying theory. To test this claim, we examine a central case: activity of mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic (DA) systems. After reviewing the three most prominent hypotheses of DA activity—the anhedonia, incentive salience, and reward prediction error hypotheses—we conclude that the evidence currently vindicates explanatory pluralism. This vindication implies that the grand unifying claims of advocates of PTB are unwarranted. More generally, (...)
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  12. John Dupré (2002). The Lure of the Simplistic. Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S284-S293.
    This paper attacks the perennial philosophical and scientific quest for a simple and unified vision of the world. Without denying the attraction of this vision, I argue that such a goal often seriously distorts our understanding of complex phenomena. The argument is illustrated with reference to simplistic attempts to provide extremely general views of biology, and especially of human nature, through the theory of evolution. Although that theory is a fundamental ingredient of our scientific world view, it provides only one (...)
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  13. Greg Frost-Arnold (2004). How to Be an Anti-Reductionist About Developmental Biology: Response to Laubichler and Wagner. Biology and Philosophy 19 (1):75-91.
    Alexander Rosenberg recently claimed (1997) that developmental biology is currently being reduced to molecular biology. cite several concrete biological examples that are intended to impugn Rosenberg's claim. I first argue that although Laubichler and Wagner's examples would refute a very strong reductionism, a more moderate reductionism would escape their attacks. Next, taking my cue from the antireductionist's perennial stress on the importance of spatial organization, I describe one form an empirical finding that refutes this moderate reductionism would take. Finally, I (...)
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  14. Manfred D. Laubichler & Günter P. Wagner (2001). How Molecular is Molecular Developmental Biology? A Reply to Alex Rosenberg's Reductionism Redux: Computing the Embryo. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 16 (1):53-68.
    This paper argues in defense of theanti-reductionist consensus in the philosophy ofbiology. More specifically, it takes issues with AlexRosenberg's recent challenge of this position. Weargue that the results of modern developmentalgenetics rather than eliminating the need forfunctional kinds in explanations of developmentactually reinforce their importance.
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  15. David Ludwig (2015). A Pluralist Theory of the Mind. Springer.
    This book challenges common debates in philosophy of mind by questioning the framework of placement problems in contemporary metaphysics. The author argues that placement problems arise when exactly one fundamental ontology serves as the base for all entities, and will propose a pluralist alternative that takes the diversity of our conceptual resources and ontologies seriously. This general pluralist account is applied to issues in philosophy of mind to argue that contemporary debates about the mind-body problem are built on this problematic (...)
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  16. Christophe Malaterre (2010). Les origines de la vie : émergence ou explication réductive ? Hermann.
    La vie est-elle un phénomène émergent ? Traduit-elle l'apparition de propriétés nouvelles au niveau d'un tout, qui seraient irréductibles aux propriétés et à l'organisation des composants de ce tout, ou encore imprédictibles à partir de ces mêmes éléments ? Développées à la charnière des XIXe et XXe siècles comme alternative aux deux approches antinomiques du vivant que sont le vitalisme et le mécanisme, la notion philosophique d'émergence connait aujourd'hui de nouveaux développements : avec la prise de conscience de la complexité (...)
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  17. Arciszewski Michal, Reducing the Dauer Larva: Molecular Models of Biological Phenomena in Caenorhabditis Elegans Research.
    One important aspect of biological explanation is detailed causal modeling of particular phenomena in limited experimental background conditions. Recognising this allows a new avenue for intertheoretic reduction to be seen. Reductions in biology are possible, when one fully recognises that a sufficient condition for a reduction in biology is a molecular model of 1) only the demonstrated causal parameters of a biological model and 2) only within a replicable experimental background. These intertheoretic identifications –which are ubiquitous in biology and form (...)
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  18. Emanuele Ratti (2015). Big Data Biology: Between Eliminative Inferences and Exploratory Experiments. Philosophy of Science 82 (2):198-218.
    Recently, biologists have argued that data - driven biology fosters a new scientific methodology; namely, one that is irreducible to traditional methodologies of molecular biology defined as the discovery strategies elucidated by mechanistic philosophy. Here I show how data - driven studies can be included into the traditional mechanistic approach in two respects. On the one hand, some studies provide eliminative inferential procedures to prioritize and develop mechanistic hypotheses. On the other, different studies play an exploratory role in providing useful (...)
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  19. Sahotra Sarkar (1992). Models of Reduction and Categories of Reductionism. Synthese 91 (3):167-94.
    A classification of models of reduction into three categories — theory reductionism, explanatory reductionism, and constitutive reductionism — is presented. It is shown that this classification helps clarify the relations between various explications of reduction that have been offered in the past, especially if a distinction is maintained between the various epistemological and ontological issues that arise. A relatively new model of explanatory reduction, one that emphasizes that reduction is the explanation of a whole in terms of its parts is (...)
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  20. Michael Strevens (forthcoming). Special-Science Autonomy and the Division of Labor. In Mark Couch & Jessica Pfeifer (eds.), The Philosophy of Philip Kitcher.
    Philip Kitcher has advocated and advanced an influential antireductionist picture of science on which the higher-level sciences pursue their aims largely independently of the lower-level sciences -- a view of the sciences as autonomous. Explanatory autonomy as Kitcher understands it is incompatible with explanatory reductionism, the view that a high-level explanation is inevitably improved by providing a lower-level explanation of its parts. This paper explores an alternative conception of autonomy based on another major theme of Kitcher's philosophy of science: the (...)
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  21. Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther (2011). Part-Whole Science. Synthese 178 (3):397-427.
    A scientific explanatory project, part-whole explanation, and a kind of science, part-whole science are premised on identifying, investigating, and using parts and wholes. In the biological sciences, mechanistic, structuralist, and historical explanations are part-whole explanations. Each expresses different norms, explananda, and aims. Each is associated with a distinct partitioning frame for abstracting kinds of parts. These three explanatory projects can be complemented in order to provide an integrative vision of the whole system, as is shown for a detailed case study: (...)
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