Emergentism by default: A view from the bench [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 151 (3):361-376 (2006)
For the last 50 years the dominant stance in experimental biology has been reductionism in general, and genetic reductionism in particular. Philosophers were the first to realize that the belief that the Mendelian genes were reduced to DNA molecules was questionable. Soon, experimental data confirmed these misgivings. The optimism of molecular biologists, fueled by early success in tackling relatively simple problems has now been tempered by the difficulties encountered when applying the same simple ideas to complex problems. We analyze three examples taken from experimental data that illustrate the shortcomings of this sort of reductionism. In the first, alterations in the expression of a large number of genes coexist with normal phenotypes at supra-cellular levels of organization; in the second, the supposed intrinsic specificity of hormonal signals is negated; in the third, the notion that cancer is a cellular problem caused by mutated genes is challenged by data gathered both from the reductionist viewpoint and the alternative view proposing that carcinogenesis is development gone awry. As an alternative to reductionism, we propose that the organicist view is a good starting point from which to explore these phenomena. However, new theoretical concepts are needed to grapple with the apparent circular causality of complex biological phenomena
|Keywords||METHYL-N-NITROSOUREA BREAST-CANCER CHEMICAL CARCINOGENESIS 3-DIMENSIONAL CULTURE TERATOCARCINOMA CELLS MAMMARY EPITHELIUM GENE-EXPRESSION IN-VIVO DIFFERENTIATION INDUCTION|
|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
David L. Hull (1974). Philosophy of Biological Science. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.,Prentice-Hall.
Jaegwon Kim (1999). Making Sense of Emergence. Philosophical Studies 95 (1-2):3-36.
Alexander Rosenberg (1994). Instrumental Biology, or, the Disunity of Science. University of Chicago Press.
Ana M. Soto & Carlos Sonnenschein (2004). The Somatic Mutation Theory of Cancer: Growing Problems with the Paradigm? Bioessays 26 (10):1097-1107.
Citations of this work BETA
Johanna Seibt (2009). Forms of Emergent Interaction in General Process Theory. Synthese 166 (3):479 - 512.
Similar books and articles
Degeng Wang (2005). “Molecular Gene”: Interpretation in the Right Context. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 20 (2-3):453-464.
Petter Portin (2002). Historical Development of the Concept of the Gene. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 27 (3):257 – 286.
Tianjaio Chu, Two Statistical Problems for Inference to Regulatory Structure From Associations of Gene Expression Measurements with Microarrays.
Clark Glymour, Two Statistical Problems for Inference to Regulatory Structure From Associations of Gene Expression Measurements with Microarrays.
Paolo Vineis (1993). Definition and Classification of Cancer: Monothetic or Polythetic? Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 14 (3).
Rosine Chandebois (1980). Cell Sociology and the Problem of Automation in the Development of Pluricellular Animals. Acta Biotheoretica 29 (1):1-35.
Deng K. Niu & Ya F. Wang (1995). Why Animals Have Tumours. Acta Biotheoretica 43 (3):279-280.
James A. Marcum (2005). Metaphysical Presuppositions and Scientific Practices: Reductionism and Organicism in Cancer Research. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 19 (1):31 – 45.
Christophe Malaterre (2007). Organicism and Reductionism in Cancer Research: Towards a Systemic Approach. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 21 (1):57 – 73.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads18 ( #107,505 of 1,682,537 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #112,061 of 1,682,537 )
How can I increase my downloads?