The autonomy of functional biology: A reply to Rosenberg [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Biology and Philosophy 19 (1):93-109 (2004)
Rosenberg has recently argued that explanations supplied by (what he calls) functional biology are mere promissory notes for macromolecular adaptive explanations. Rosenberg's arguments currently constitute one of the most substantial challenges to the autonomy, irreducibility, and indispensability of the explanations supplied by functional biology. My responses to Rosenberg's arguments will generate a novel account of the autonomy of functional biology. This account will turn on the relations between counterfactuals, scientific explanations, and natural laws. Crucially, in their treatment of the laws' relation to counterfactuals, Rosenberg's arguments beg the question against the autonomy of functional biology. This relation is considerably more subtle than is suggested by familiar slogans such as Laws support counterfactuals; accidents don't.
|Keywords||Explanation Laws Function Autonomy Reductionism Counterfactual|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Marc Lange (2007). Laws and Meta-Laws of Nature: Conservation Laws and Symmetries. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (3):457-481.
Marc Lange (2005). Reply to Ellis and to Handfield on Essentialism, Laws, and Counterfactuals. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (4):581 – 588.
Marc Lange (2006). Farewell to Laws of Nature? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (2):361-369.
Marc Lange (2005). A Counterfactual Analysis of the Concepts of Logical Truth and Necessity. Philosophical Studies 125 (3):277 - 303.
Colin Klein (2008). An Ideal Solution to Disputes About Multiply Realized Kinds. Philosophical Studies 140 (2):161 - 177.
Similar books and articles
William A. Rottschaefer (1997). Adaptational Functional Ascriptions in Evolutionary Biology: A Critique of Schaffner's Views. Philosophy of Science 64 (4):698-713.
Alex Rosenberg (2001). Reductionism in a Historical Science. Philosophy of Science 68 (2):135-163.
Alex Rosenberg (2001). How is Biological Explanation Possible? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (4):735-760.
Elliott Sober (1997). Two Outbreaks of Lawlessness in Recent Philosophy of Biology. Philosophy of Science 64 (4):467.
Arno Wouters (1995). Viability Explanation. Biology and Philosophy 10 (4):435-457.
G. A. Cohen (1982). Functional Explanation, Consequence Explanation, and Marxism. Inquiry 25 (1):27 – 56.
Alexander Rosenberg (1985). The Structure of Biological Science. Cambridge University Press.
Arno Wouters (2005). The Functional Perspective of Organismal Biology. In Thomas Reydon & Lia Hemerik (eds.), Current Themes in Theoretical Biology. Springer 33--69.
Peter McLaughlin (2001). What Functions Explain: Functional Explanation and Self-Reproducing Systems. Cambridge University Press.
Alex Rosenberg & David Michael Kaplan (2005). How to Reconcile Physicalism and Antireductionism About Biology. Philosophy of Science 72 (1):43-68.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads26 ( #104,520 of 1,700,378 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #105,649 of 1,700,378 )
How can I increase my downloads?