Biology and Philosophy 21 (1):119-134 (2006)
|Abstract||This paper consists of four parts. Part 1 is an introduction. Part 2 evaluates arguments for the claim that there are no strict empirical laws in biology. I argue that there are two types of arguments for this claim and they are as follows: (1) Biological properties are multiply realized and they require complex processes. For this reason, it is almost impossible to formulate strict empirical laws in biology. (2) Generalizations in biology hold contingently but laws go beyond describing contingencies, so there cannot be strict laws in biology. I argue that both types of arguments fail. Part 3 considers some examples of biological laws in recent biological research and argues that they exemplify strict laws in biology. Part 4 considers the objection that the examples in part 3 may be strict laws but they are not distinctively biological laws. I argue that given a plausible account of what distinctively biological means, such laws are distinctively biological.|
|Keywords||Biology Complexity Distinctively biological Multiple realization Special sciences Strict laws|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Joel Press (2009). Physical Explanations and Biological Explanations, Empirical Laws and a Priori Laws. Biology and Philosophy 24 (3):359-374.
Alex Rosenberg (2001). How is Biological Explanation Possible? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (4):735-760.
Andrew Hamilton (2007). Laws of Biology, Laws of Nature: Problems and (Dis)Solutions. Philosophy Compass 2 (3):592–610.
Lee Mcintyre (1997). Gould on Laws in Biological Science. Biology and Philosophy 12 (3):357-367.
Peter Lipton (1999). All Else Being Equal. Philosophy 74 (2):155-168.
Jani Raerinne (2011). Allometries and Scaling Laws Interpreted as Laws: A Reply to Elgin. Biology and Philosophy 26 (1):99-111.
Lane DesAutels (2010). Sober and Elgin on Laws of Biology: A Critique. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 25 (2):249-256.
Mehmet Elgin (2003). Biology and A Priori Laws. Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1380-1389.
Mehmet Elgin (2003). Biology and a Priori Laws. Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1380--1389.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads115 ( #5,897 of 722,826 )
Recent downloads (6 months)33 ( #3,536 of 722,826 )
How can I increase my downloads?