David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Dissertation, Indiana University, HPS (2003)
There are two fundamentally distinct kinds of biological theorizing. "Formal biology" focuses on the relations, captured in formal laws, among mathematically abstracted properties of abstract objects. Population genetics and theoretical mathematical ecology, which are cases of formal biology, thus share methods and goals with theoretical physics. "Compositional biology," on the other hand, is concerned with articulating the concrete structure, mechanisms, and function, through developmental and evolutionary time, of material parts and wholes. Molecular genetics, biochemistry, developmental biology, and physiology, which are examples of compositional biology, are in serious need of philosophical attention. For example, the very concept of a "part" is understudied in both philosophy of biology and philosophy of science. ;My dissertation is an attempt to clarify the distinction between formal biology and compositional biology and, in so doing, provide a clear philosophical analysis, with case studies, of compositional biology. Given the social, economic, and medical importance of compositional biology, understanding it is urgent. For my investigation, I draw on the philosophical fields of metaphysics and epistemology, as well as philosophy of biology and philosophy of science. I suggest new ways of thinking about some classic philosophy of science issues, such as modeling, laws of nature, abstraction, explanation, and confirmation. I hint at the relevance of my study of two kinds of biological theorizing to debates concerning the disunity 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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther (2006). Parts and Theories in Compositional Biology. Biology and Philosophy 21 (4):471-499.
Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther (2005). An Obstacle to Unification in Biological Social Science: Formal and Compositional Styles of Science. Graduate Journal of Social Science 2 (2):40-100.
Massimo Pigliucci (2012). On the Different Ways of ‘‘Doing Theory’’ in Biology. Biological Theory 7 (4):DOI 10.1007/s13752-012-0047-1.
Michael Devitt (2011). Natural Kinds and Biological Realisms. In Michael O'Rourke, Joseph Keim Campbell & Matthew H. Slater (eds.), Carving Nature at its Joints. MIT Press
Pablo Schyfter (2012). Technological Biology? Things and Kinds in Synthetic Biology. Biology and Philosophy 27 (1):29-48.
Fred C. Boogerd, Frank J. Bruggeman, Jan-Hendrik S. Hofmeyr & Hans V. Westerhoff (eds.) (2007). Systems Biology: Philosophical Foundations. Elsevier.
Arno Wouters (2005). The Functional Perspective of Organismal Biology. In Thomas Reydon & Lia Hemerik (eds.), Current Themes in Theoretical Biology. Springer 33--69.
Lee Mcintyre (1997). Gould on Laws in Biological Science. Biology and Philosophy 12 (3):357-367.
Robert A. Wilson (2005). Genes and the Agents of Life: The Individual in the Fragile Sciences, Biology. Cambridge University Press.
Philippe De Backer, Danny De Waele & Linda Van Speybroeck (2010). Ins and Outs of Systems Biology Vis-À-Vis Molecular Biology: Continuation or Clear Cut? Acta Biotheoretica 58 (1).
Mehmet Elgin (2006). There May Be Strict Empirical Laws in Biology, After All. Biology and Philosophy 21 (1):119-134.
Bart Voorzanger (1987). Methodological Problems in Evolutionary Biology VIII. Biology and Culture. Acta Biotheoretica 36 (1):23-34.
William Morton Wheeler (1939/1967). Essays in Philosophical Biology. New York, Russell & Russell.
Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther (2006). On the Dangers of Making Scientific Models Ontologically Independent: Taking Richard Levins' Warnings Seriously. Biology and Philosophy 21 (5):703-724.
Quayshawn Spencer (2012). What 'Biological Racial Realism' Should Mean. Philosophical Studies 159 (2):181-204.
Added to index2012-04-18
Total downloads117 ( #14,121 of 1,699,558 )
Recent downloads (6 months)46 ( #9,813 of 1,699,558 )
How can I increase my downloads?