David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy of Science 64 (4):457 (1997)
In this paper I argue that we can best make sense of the practice of experimental evolutionary biology if we see it as investigating contingent, rather than lawlike, regularities. This understanding is contrasted with the experimental practice of certain areas of physics. However, this presents a problem for those who accept the Logical Positivist conception of law and its essential role in scientific explanation. I address this problem by arguing that the contingent regularities of evolutionary biology have a limited range of nomic necessity and a limited range of explanatory power even though they lack the unlimited projectibility that has been seen by some as a hallmark of scientific laws.
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Andrew Hamilton (2007). Laws of Biology, Laws of Nature: Problems and (Dis)Solutions. Philosophy Compass 2 (3):592–610.
Gregory J. Morgan (2010). Laws of Biological Design: A Reply to John Beatty. Biology and Philosophy 25 (3):379-389.
Daryn Lehoux (2006). Laws of Nature and Natural Laws. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (4):527-549.
Derek Turner (2011). Gould's Replay Revisited. Biology and Philosophy 26 (1):65-79.
José Díez & Pablo Lorenzano (2013). Who Got What Wrong? Fodor and Piattelli on Darwin: Guiding Principles and Explanatory Models in Natural Selection. [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 78 (5):1143-1175.
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