Beyond reduction and pluralism: Toward an epistemology of explanatory integration in biology [Book Review]
Graduate studies at Western
Erkenntnis 73 (3):295-311 (2010)
|Abstract||The paper works towards an account of explanatory integration in biology, using as a case study explanations of the evolutionary origin of novelties-a problem requiring the integration of several biological fields and approaches. In contrast to the idea that fields studying lower level phenomena are always more fundamental in explanations, I argue that the particular combination of disciplines and theoretical approaches needed to address a complex biological problem and which among them is explanatorily more fundamental varies with the problem pursued. Solving a complex problem need not require theoretical unification or the stable synthesis of different biological fields, as items of knowledge from traditional disciplines can be related solely for the purposes of a specific problem. Apart from the development of genuine interfield theories, successful integration can be effected by smaller epistemic units (concepts, methods, explanations) being linked. Unification or integration is not an aim in itself, but needed for the aim of solving a particular scientific problem, where the problem's nature determines the kind of intellectual integration required.|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
William P. Bechtel & Andrew Hamilton (2007). Reduction, Integration, and the Unity of Science: Natural, Behavioral, and Social Sciences and the Humanities. In T. Kuipers (ed.), Philosophy of Science: Focal Issues (Volume 1 of the Handbook of the Philosophy of Science). Elsevier.
Caterina Marchionni (2008). Explanatory Pluralism and Complementarity: From Autonomy to Integration. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 38 (3):314-333.
Alex Rosenberg (2001). How is Biological Explanation Possible? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (4):735-760.
Massimo Pigliucci (2003). Phenotypic Integration: Studying the Ecology and Evolution of Complex Phenotypes. Ecology Letters 6:265-272.
Alvin I. Goldman (1983). Epistemology and the Theory of Problem Solving. Synthese 55 (1):21 - 48.
Wim J. Steen (1990). Interdisciplinary Integration in Biology? An Overview. Acta Biotheoretica 38 (1).
Cor Weele (1993). Explaining Embryological Development: Should Integration Be the Goal? [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 8 (4):385-397.
Kenneth F. Schaffner (1993). Theory Structure, Reduction, and Disciplinary Integration in Biology. Biology and Philosophy 8 (3):319-347.
William Bechtel (1993). Integrating Sciences by Creating New Disciplines: The Case of Cell Biology. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 8 (3):277-299.
Ingo Brigandt (2013). Explanation in Biology: Reduction, Pluralism, and Explanatory Aims. Science and Education 22 (1):69-91.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads92 ( #9,307 of 740,944 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #26,533 of 740,944 )
How can I increase my downloads?