Explaining evolutionary innovations and novelties: Criteria of explanatory adequacy and epistemological prerequisites

Philosophy of Science 75 (5):874-886 (2008)
It is a common complaint that antireductionist arguments are primarily negative. Here I describe an alternative nonreductionist epistemology based on considerations taken from multidisciplinary research in biology. The core of this framework consists in seeing investigation as coordinated around sets of problems (problem agendas) that have associated criteria of explanatory adequacy. These ideas are developed in a case study, the explanation of evolutionary innovations and novelties, which demonstrates the applicability and fruitfulness of this nonreductionist epistemological perspective. This account also bears on questions of conceptual change and theory structure in philosophy of science. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, University of Minnesota, 831 Heller Hall, 271 19th Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55455; e‐mail: aclove@umn.edu.
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DOI 10.1086/594531
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Mads Goddiksen (2014). Clarifying Interactional and Contributory Expertise. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 47:111-117.
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.
Anya Plutynski (2013). Cancer and the Goals of Integration. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C (4):466-476.
James Griesemer (2013). Integration of Approaches in David Wake’s Model-Taxon Research Platform for Evolutionary Morphology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):525-536.

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