David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 44 (4):551-562 (2013)
Much is being written these days about integration, its desirability and even its necessity when complex research problems are to be addressed. Seldom, however, do we hear much about the failure of such efforts. Because integration is an ongoing activity rather than a final achievement, and because today’s literature about integration consists mostly of manifesto statements rather than precise descriptions, an examination of unsuccessful integration could be illuminating to understand better how it works. This paper will examine the case of prokaryote phylogeny and its apparent failure to achieve integration within broader tree-of-life accounts of evolutionary history . Despite the fact that integrated databases exist of molecules pertinent to the phylogenetic reconstruction of all lineages of life, and even though the same methods can be used to construct phylogenies wherever the organisms fall on the tree of life, prokaryote phylogeny remains at best only partly integrated within tree-of-life efforts. I will examine why integration does not occur, compare it with integrative practices in animal and other eukaryote phylogeny, and reflect on whether there might be different expectations of what integration should achieve. Finally, I will draw some general conclusions about integration and its function as a ‘meta-heuristic’ in the normative commitments guiding scientific practice
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References found in this work BETA
Eric Bapteste & Richard M. Burian (2010). On the Need for Integrative Phylogenomics, and Some Steps Toward its Creation. Biology and Philosophy 25 (4):711-736.
William Bechtel (1993). Integrating Sciences by Creating New Disciplines: The Case of Cell Biology. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 8 (3):277-299.
Robert G. Beiko (2010). Gene Sharing and Genome Evolution: Networks in Trees and Trees in Networks. Biology and Philosophy 25 (4):659-673.
Yan Boucher & Eric Bapteste (2009). Revisiting the Concept of Lineage in Prokaryotes: A Phylogenetic Perspective. Bioessays 31 (5):526-536.
Ingo Brigandt & Alan Love, Reductionism in Biology. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Citations of this work BETA
William C. Wimsatt (2013). Articulating Babel: An Approach to Cultural Evolution. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 44 (4):563-571.
Ingo Brigandt (2013). Integration in Biology: Philosophical Perspectives on the Dynamics of Interdisciplinarity. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 44 (4):461-465.
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