David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (4):735-760 (2001)
That biology provides explanations is not open to doubt. But how it does so must be a vexed question for those who deny that biology embodies laws or other generalizations with the sort of explanatory force that the philosophy of science recognizes. The most common response to this problem has involved redefining law so that those grammatically general statements which biologists invoke in explanations can be counted as laws. But this terminological innovation cannot identify the source of biology's explanatory power. I argue that because biological science is historical, the problem of biological explanation can be assimilated to the parallel problem in the philosophy of history, and that the problem was solved by Carl Hempel. All we need to do is recognize that the only laws that biology—in all its compartments from the molecular onward—has or needs are the laws of natural selection.
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Nicholaos Jones (2014). Bowtie Structures, Pathway Diagrams, and Topological Explanation. Erkenntnis 79 (5):1135-1155.
Russell Powell (2012). Convergent Evolution and the Limits of Natural Selection. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (3):355-373.
Alexander Reutlinger (2011). A Theory of Non-Universal Laws. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (2):97 - 117.
Charles H. Pence (2015). The Early History of Chance in Evolution. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 50:48-58.
José Díez & Pablo Lorenzano (2015). Are Natural Selection Explanatory Models a Priori? Biology and Philosophy 30 (6):787-809.
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