Environmental Ethics 1 (2):159-176 (1979)
|Abstract||Barry Commoner has argued that the environmental failure of modern technology is due in large part to the reductionistic character ofmodern science, especially its biological component where the reductionist approach has triumphed in molecular biology. I claim, first, that Commoner has confused reduction in the sense of the reduction of one theory to another with what is better called analysis, or the strategy of breaking a whoie into its parts in order to understand the properties of the whole, this latter being the actual target of his attack. I then argue that his criticisms of molecular biology fail since each of the properties of the cell which he claims cannot be understood in an analytic fashion, such as reproduction, development and inheritance, can be so understood, and that, in fact, each of his putatively nonanalytic accounts of these properties is the result of analysis. Similarly, Commoner’s claim that ecosystenls possess properties that cannot be understood analytically is refuted by comparing ecosystems with automobiles, which Commoner acknowledges are susceptible to analysis, and by showing that there are no essential differences between the two. FinaIly, l observe that while it is false that ecosystems canna! be understood in analytic terms, it is true that they are not usually thus understood, and that the explanation for this is not that scientists subscribe to amistaken philosophy, but that our social institutions for the teaching and application of science do not adequately stress the importance of exploring the connections between the parts of such complex wholes|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Caj Strandberg (2004). In Defence of the Open Question Argument. Journal of Ethics 8 (2):179-196.
Greg Frost-Arnold (2004). How to Be an Anti-Reductionist About Developmental Biology: Response to Laubichler and Wagner. Biology and Philosophy 19 (1):75-91.
Muhammad Ali Khalidi (2005). Against Functional Reductionism in Cognitive Science. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 19 (3):319 – 333.
Philippe De Backer, Danny De Waele & Linda Van Speybroeck (2010). Ins and Outs of Systems Biology Vis-à-Vis Molecular Biology: Continuation or Clear Cut? Acta Biotheoretica 58 (1).
Tudor Baetu (forthcoming). Mechanism Schemas and the Relationship Between Biological Theories. In J. Williamson P. McKay (ed.), Causality in the Sciences.
Megan Delehanty (2005). Emergent Properties and the Context Objection to Reduction. Biology and Philosophy 20 (4):715-734.
Sahotra Sarkar (1992). Models of Reduction and Categories of Reductionism. Synthese 91 (3):167-94.
Tudor Baetu (2012). Emergence, Therefore Antireductionism? A Critique of Emergent Antireductionism. Biology and Philosophy 27 (3):433-448.
Alexander Rosenberg (2006). Darwinian Reductionism, or, How to Stop Worrying and Love Molecular Biology. University of Chicago Press.
Charles T. Rubin (1989). Environmental Policy and Environmental Thought: Commoner and Ruckelshaus. Environmental Ethics 11 (1):27-51.
Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.
Added to index2009-01-28
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?