Post-genomics, between reduction and emergence

Synthese 151 (3):355 - 360 (2006)
Abstract
It is frequently said that biology is emerging from a long phase of reductionism. It would be certainly more correct to say that biologists are abandoning a certain form of reductionism. We describe this past form, and the experiments which challenged the previous vision. To face the difficulties which were met, biologists use a series of concepts and metaphors - pleiotropy, tinkering, epigenetics - the ambiguity of which masks the difficulties, instead of solving them. In a similar way, the word “post-genomics” has different meanings, depending upon who uses it. Which of these meanings will become dominant in the future is an open question.
Keywords Post-genomics  Emergence  Reductionism  Holism  Epigenetics  Tinkering
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Alexander Powell & John Dupré (2009). From Molecules to Systems: The Importance of Looking Both Ways. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 40 (1):54-64.
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