Aspects of Reductive Explanation in Biological Science: Intrinsicality, Fundamentality, and Temporality

The inapplicability of variations on theory reduction in the context of genetics and their irrelevance to ongoing research has led to an anti-reductionist consensus in philosophy of biology. One response to this situation is to focus on forms of reductive explanation that better correspond to actual scientific reasoning (e.g. part–whole relations). Working from this perspective, we explore three different aspects (intrinsicality, fundamentality, and temporality) that arise from distinct facets of reductive explanation: composition and causation. Concentrating on these aspects generates new forms of reductive explanation and conditions for their success or failure in biology and other sciences. This analysis is illustrated using the case of protein folding in molecular biology, which demonstrates its applicability and relevance, as well as illuminating the complexity of reductive reasoning in a specific biological context
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/bjps/axr006
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Kenneth F. Schaffner (1969). The Watson-Crick Model and Reductionism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 20 (4):325-348.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Alan C. Love & Gary L. Lugar (2013). Dimensions of Integration in Interdisciplinary Explanations of the Origin of Evolutionary Novelty. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):537-550.
Fabian Lausen (2014). Reductionism as a Research Directive. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 45 (2):263-279.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Alan C. Love & Andreas Hüttemann (2011). COMPARING PART-WHOLE REDUCTIVE EXPLANATIONS IN BIOLOGY AND PHYSICS. In Dennis Dieks, Wenceslao Gonzalo, Thomas Uebel, Stephan Hartmann & Marcel Weber (eds.), Explanation, Prediction, and Confirmation. Springer 183--202.
Jeroen van Bouwel, Erik Weber & Leen de Vreese (2011). Indispensability Arguments in Favour of Reductive Explanations. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 42 (1):33-46.
Zvonimir Čuljak (1995). Some Aspects of Explanation in Boškovič. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 9 (1):73-84.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

69 ( #49,355 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #183,615 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.