Biological pluralism and homology

Philosophy of Science 72 (5):687-698 (2005)
The study of similarity is fundamental to biological inquiry. Many homology concepts have been formulated that function successfully to explain similarity in their native domains, but fail to provide an overarching account applicable to variably interconnected and independent areas of biological research despite the monistic standpoint from which they originate. The use of multiple, explicitly articulated homology concepts, applicable at different levels of the biological hierarchy, allows a more thorough investigation of the nature of biological similarity. Responsible epistemological pluralism as advocated herein is generative of fruitful and innovative biological research, and is appropriate given the metaphysical pluralism that underpins all of biology.
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DOI 10.1086/508108
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