Graduate studies at Western
History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 33 (1):105-127 (2011)
|Abstract||The chemical characterization of the substance responsible for the phenomenon of “transformation” of pneumococci was presented in the now famous 1944 paper by Avery, MacLeod, and McCarty. Reception of this work was mixed. Although interpreting their results as evidence that deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is the molecule responsible for genetic changes was, at the time, controversial, this paper has been retrospectively celebrated as providing such evidence. The mixed and changing assessment of the evidence presented in the paper was due to the work’s interpretive flexibility – the evidence was interpreted in various ways, and such interpretations were justified given the neophytic state of molecular biology and methodological limitations of Avery’s transformation studies. I argue that the changing context in which the evidence presented by Avery’s group was interpreted partly explains the vicissitudes of the assessments of the evidence. Two less compelling explanations of the reception are a myth-making account and an appeal to the wartime historical context of its publication.|
|Keywords||evidence evidential context gene transforming substance Avery|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
U. Deichmann (2004). Early Responses to Avery Et Al.'S Paper on DNA as Hereditary Material. Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences 34 (2):207-232.
Jeffrey Dunn (2012). Evidential Externalism. Philosophical Studies 158 (3):435-455.
Branden Fitelson & Richard Feldman (2012). Evidence of Evidence is Not (Necessarily) Evidence. Analysis 72 (1):85-88.
Timothy Williamson (1998). Conditionalizing on Knowledge. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (1):89-121.
Michael G. Titelbaum (2010). Not Enough There There: Evidence, Reasons, and Language Independence. Philosophical Perspectives 24 (1):477-528.
Joshua Earlenbaugh & Bernard Molyneux (2009). Intuitions Are Inclinations to Believe. Philosophical Studies 145 (1):89 - 109.
Kent W. Staley (2004). Robust Evidence and Secure Evidence Claims. Philosophy of Science 71:467-488.
Kent W. Staley (2004). Robust Evidence and Secure Evidence Claims. Philosophy of Science 71 (4):467-488.
Helen E. Longino (1979). Evidence and Hypothesis: An Analysis of Evidential Relations. Philosophy of Science 46 (1):35-56.
Degeng Wang (2005). “Molecular Gene”: Interpretation in the Right Context. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 20 (2-3):453-464.
Arnon Keren (2012). On the Alleged Perversity of the Evidential View of Testimony. Analysis 72 (4):700-707.
Jacob Stegenga (2009). Robustness, Discordance, and Relevance. Philosophy of Science 76 (5):650-661.
Frank Portugal (2010). Oswald T. Avery: Nobel Laureate or Noble Luminary? Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 53 (4):558-570.
Peter Achinstein (2001). The Book of Evidence. Oxford University Press.
Added to index2011-10-03
Total downloads11 ( #107,775 of 757,546 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #63,427 of 757,546 )
How can I increase my downloads?