David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy of Science 79 (1):120-140 (2012)
The concept of hierarchical organization is commonplace in science. Subatomic particles compose atoms, which compose molecules; cells compose tissues, which compose organs, which compose organisms; etc. Hierarchical organization is particularly prominent in ecology, a field of research explicitly arranged around levels of ecological organization. The concept of levels of organization is also central to a variety of debates in philosophy of science. Yet many difficulties plague the concept of discrete hierarchical levels. In this paper, we show how these difficulties undermine various implications ascribed to hierarchical organization, and we suggest the concept of scale as a promising alternative to levels. Investigating causal processes at different scales offers a way to retain a notion of quasi-levels that avoids the difficulties inherent in the classic concept of hierarchical levels of organization. Throughout, our focus is on ecology, but the results generalize to other invocations of hierarchy in science and philosophy of science.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
William Bechtel (2007). Top-Down Causation Without Top-Down Causes. Biology and Philosophy 22 (4):547-563.
Carl F. Craver & William Bechtel (2007). Top-Down Causation Without Top-Down Causes. Biology and Philosophy 22 (4):547-563.
J. A. Fodor (1974). Special Sciences (Or: The Disunity of Science as a Working Hypothesis). Synthese 28 (2):97-115.
Jerry A. Fodor (1974). Special Sciences. Synthese 28 (2):97-115.
Terence E. Horgan (1982). Supervenience and Microphysics. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 63 (January):29-43.
Citations of this work BETA
Markus I. Eronen (2013). No Levels, No Problems: Downward Causation in Neuroscience. Philosophy of Science 80 (5):1042-1052.
Matthew H. Haber (2012). Multilevel Lineages and Multidimensional Trees: The Levels of Lineage and Phylogeny Reconstruction. Philosophy of Science 79 (5):609-623.
Elihu M. Gerson (2013). Integration of Specialties: An Institutional and Organizational View. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):515-524.
Similar books and articles
Yuri Krista (2003). Information-Hierarchical Organization of Mankind and Problems of its Sustainable Development. World Futures 59 (6):401 – 419.
Robert W. Korn (1994). Hierarchical Ordering in Plant Morphology. Acta Biotheoretica 42 (4).
Rudi Kirkhaug (2009). The Management of Meaning – Conditions for Perception of Values in a Hierarchical Organization. Journal of Business Ethics 87 (3):317 - 324.
Michael Lamport Commons (2008). Introduction to the Model of Hierarchical Complexity and its Relationship to Postformal Action. World Futures 64 (5 - 7):305 – 320.
Lawrence McCrea (2000). The Hierarchical Organization of Language in MÄ«mÄmsÄ Interpretive Theory. Journal of Indian Philosophy 28 (5/6):429-459.
T. Givon (1998). Toward a Neurology of Grammar. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (1):154-155.
Tim Scott (2010). Organization Philosophy: Gehlen, Foucault, Deleuze. Palgrave Macmillan.
Erika Summers-Effler (2007). Vortexes of Involvement: Social Systems as Turbulent Flow. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 37 (4):433-448.
Gary Haith (1997). Processing Limitations Can Help Neural Growth Build Hierarchical Representations. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (4):566-567.
Yuri B. Kirsta (2011). Information-Hierarchical Organization of Natural Systems I: The Information-Physical Principle. World Futures 66 (7):459-469.
Thomas Stevens Doron Shultziner, Brian Martin Stevens, Rebecca A. Stewart & Giulia Saltini-Semerari J. Hannagan (2010). The Causes and Scope of Political Egalitarianism During the Last Glacial: A Multi-Disciplinary Perspective. Biology and Philosophy 25 (3).
Linda Klebe Treviño, Gary R. Weaver & Michael E. Brown (2008). It's Lovely at the Top: Hierarchical Levels, Identities, and Perceptions of Organizational Ethics. Business Ethics Quarterly 18 (2):233-252.
Yuri B. Kirsta & Vlada Yu Kirsta (2011). Information-Hierarchical Organization of Natural Systems II: Futures of Man-Biosphere Interactions and Climate Control. World Futures 66 (8):537-556.
Michael Lamport Commons & Alexander Pekker (2008). Presenting the Formal Theory of Hierarchical Complexity. World Futures 64 (5 - 7):375 – 382.
Added to index2012-02-07
Total downloads72 ( #22,444 of 1,140,344 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #46,721 of 1,140,344 )
How can I increase my downloads?