Year:

  1. Ingo Brigandt (2013). Systems Biology and the Integration of Mechanistic Explanation and Mathematical Explanation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):477-492.
    The paper discusses how systems biology is working toward complex accounts that integrate explanation in terms of mechanisms and explanation by mathematical models—which some philosophers have viewed as rival models of explanation. Systems biology is an integrative approach, and it strongly relies on mathematical modeling. Philosophical accounts of mechanisms capture integrative in the sense of multilevel and multifield explanations, yet accounts of mechanistic explanation (as the analysis of a whole in terms of its structural parts and their qualitative interactions) have (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  2. Raoul Gervais & Erik Weber (2013). Inferential Explanations in Biology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (3):356-364.
    Among philosophers of science, there is now a widespread agreement that the DN model of explanation is poorly equipped to account for explanations in biology. Rather than identifying laws, so the consensus goes, researchers explain biological capacities by constructing a model of the underlying mechanism.We think that the dichotomy between DN explanations and mechanistic explanations is misleading. In this article, we argue that there are cases in which biological capacities are explained without constructing a model of the underlying mechanism. Although (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  3. Ian James Kidd (2013). A Pluralist Challenge to 'Integrative Medicine': Feyerabend and Popper on the Cognitive Value of Alternative Medicine. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (3):392–400.
    This paper is a critique of ‘integrative medicine’ as an ideal of medical progress on the grounds that it fails to realise the cognitive value of alternative medicine. After a brief account of the cognitive value of alternative medicine, I outline the form of ‘integrative medicine’ defended by the late Stephen Straus, former director of the US National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Straus’ account is then considered in the light of Zuzana Parusnikova’s recent criticism of ‘integrative medicine’ and (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  4. Brian McLoone (2013). Selection Explanations of Token Traits. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (3):342-346.
    The “negative view” is the claim that natural selection cannot explain why a particular individual has one trait, rather than another. Here, I modify an example from Lewens (2001) to show that this claim is sometimes false. I then advance a variation on the negative view. It is the claim that selection at the organism level within a lineage cannot explain why a particular individual in that lineage has one allele, rather than another. This formulation better describes the explanatory role (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  5. Massimo Pigliucci (2013). What Are We to Make of the Concept of Race? Thoughts of a Philosopher–Scientist. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (3):272-277.
    Discussions about the biological bases (or lack thereof) of the concept of race in the human species seem to be never ending. One of the latest rounds is represented by a paper by Neven Sesardic, which attempts to build a strong scientific case for the existence of human races, based on genetic, morphometric and behavioral characteristics, as well as on a thorough critique of opposing positions. In this paper I show that Sesardic’s critique falls far short of the goal, and (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  6. Maarten Boudry & Massimo Pigliucci (2013). The Mismeasure of Machine: Synthetic Biology and the Trouble with Engineering Metaphors. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (4):660-668.
    The scientific study of living organisms is permeated by machine and design metaphors. Genes are thought of as the ‘‘blueprint’’ of an organism, organisms are ‘‘reverse engineered’’ to discover their func- tionality, and living cells are compared to biochemical factories, complete with assembly lines, transport systems, messenger circuits, etc. Although the notion of design is indispensable to think about adapta- tions, and engineering analogies have considerable heuristic value (e.g., optimality assumptions), we argue they are limited in several important respects. In (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
  7. David Ludwig (2013). Hysteria, Race, Phlogiston. A Model of Ontological Elimination in the Human Sciences. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (1):68-77.
    Elimination controversies are ubiquitous in philosophy and the human sciences. For example, it has been suggested that human races, hysteria, intelligence, mental disorder, propositional attitudes such as beliefs and desires, the self, and the super-ego should be eliminated from the list of respectable entities in the human sciences. I argue that eliminativist proposals are often presented in the framework of an oversimplified “phlogiston model” and suggest an alternative account that describes ontological elimination on a gradual scale between criticism of empirical (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    My bibliography  
     
    Export citation  
 Previous issues
  
Next issues