David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Biology and Philosophy 20 (4):715-734 (2005)
Reductionism is a central issue in the philosophy of biology. One common objection to reduction is that molecular explanation requires reference to higher-level properties, which I refer to as the context objection. I respond to this objection by arguing that a well-articulated notion of a mechanism and what I term mechanism extension enables one to accommodate the context-dependence of biological processes within a reductive explanation. The existence of emergent features in the context could be raised as an objection to the possibility of reduction via this strategy. I argue that this objection can be overcome by showing that there is no tenable argument for the existence of emergent properties that are not susceptible to a reductive explanation.
|Keywords||Context Dictyostelium discoideum Emergence Mechanism Reduction|
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References found in this work BETA
Jerry A. Fodor (1975). The Language of Thought. Harvard University Press.
William Bechtel & Robert C. Richardson (1993). Discovering Complexity Decomposition and Localization as Strategies in Scientific Research. Princeton.
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Stuart S. Glennan (1996). Mechanisms and the Nature of Causation. Erkenntnis 44 (1):49--71.
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Citations of this work BETA
Holly Andersen (2012). The Case for Regularity in Mechanistic Causal Explanation. Synthese 189 (3):415-432.
Cory D. Wright (2012). Mechanistic Explanation Without the Ontic Conception. European Journal of Philosophy of Science 2 (3):375-394.
Olivier Sartenaer (forthcoming). Sixteen Years Later: Making Sense of Emergence (Again). Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie:1-25.
Peter Fazekas & Gergely Kertész (2011). Causation at Different Levels: Tracking the Commitments of Mechanistic Explanations. Biology and Philosophy 26 (3):365-383.
Tudor Baetu (2012). Emergence, Therefore Antireductionism? A Critique of Emergent Antireductionism. Biology and Philosophy 27 (3):433-448.
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