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.
Alexander Rosenberg (1985). The Structure of Biological Science. Cambridge University Press.
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Kenneth F. Schaffner (1993). Discovery and Explanation in Biology and Medicine. University of Chicago Press.
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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