David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 178 (3):397-427 (2011)
A scientific explanatory project, part-whole explanation, and a kind of science, part-whole science are premised on identifying, investigating, and using parts and wholes. In the biological sciences, mechanistic, structuralist, and historical explanations are part-whole explanations. Each expresses different norms, explananda, and aims. Each is associated with a distinct partitioning frame for abstracting kinds of parts. These three explanatory projects can be complemented in order to provide an integrative vision of the whole system, as is shown for a detailed case study: the tetrapod limb. My diagnosis of part-whole explanation in the biological sciences as well as in other domains exploring evolved, complex, and integrated systems (e.g., psychology and cognitive science) cross-cuts standard philosophical categories of explanation: causal explanation and explanation as unification. Part-whole explanation is itself one essential aspect of part-whole science.
|Keywords||Mechanisms History Explanation Natural kinds Systems Complexity Styles Evolution|
|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
Clark H. Barrett & R. Kurzban (2006). Modularity in Cognition: Framing the Debate. Psychological Review 113:628-647.
F. C. Boogerd, F. J. Bruggeman, Robert C. Richardson, Achim Stephan & H. Westerhoff (2005). Emergence and Its Place in Nature: A Case Study of Biochemical Networks. Synthese 145 (1):131 - 164.
Richard Boyd (1999). Homeostasis, Species, and Higher Taxa. In R. A. Wilson (ed.), Species: New Interdisciplinary Essays. Mit Press. 141-85.
Ingo Brigandt (2009). Natural Kinds in Evolution and Systematics: Metaphysical and Epistemological Considerations. Acta Biotheoretica 57:77-97.
Nancy Cartwright (1999). The Dappled World: A Study of the Boundaries of Science. Cambridge University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther (2012). Interweaving Categories: Styles, Paradigms, and Models. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, Part A 43 (4):628-639.
Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther, Michael J. Wade & Christopher C. Dimond (2013). Pluralism in Evolutionary Controversies: Styles and Averaging Strategies in Hierarchical Selection Theories. Biology and Philosophy 28 (6):957-979.
Ingo Brigandt (2013). Systems Biology and the Integration of Mechanistic Explanation and Mathematical Explanation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):477-492.
Fabrizzio Guerrero Mc Manus (2012). Development and Mechanistic Explanation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (2):532-541.
Monika Piotrowska (2013). From Humanized Mice to Human Disease: Guiding Extrapolation From Model to Target. Biology and Philosophy 28 (3):439-455.
Similar books and articles
Jeroen van Bouwel (2010). Explanatory Pluralism in the Medical Sciences: Theory and Practice. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 31 (5):371-390.
Ingo Brigandt (2013). Explanation in Biology: Reduction, Pluralism, and Explanatory Aims. Science and Education 22 (1):69-91.
Peter Hedström & Petri Ylikoski (2010). Causal Mechanisms in the Social Sciences. Annual Review of Sociology 36:49–67.
Andreas Hüttemann & Alan C. Love (2011). COMPARING PART-WHOLE REDUCTIVE EXPLANATIONS IN BIOLOGY AND PHYSICS. In Dennis Dieks, Wenceslao Gonzalo, Thomas Uebel, Stephan Hartmann & Marcel Weber (eds.), Explanation, Prediction, and Confirmation. Springer. 183--202.
Paul A. Roth (2008). Varieties and Vagaries of Historical Explanation. Journal of the Philosophy of History 2 (2):214-226.
Alan Baker (2005). Are There Genuine Mathematical Explanations of Physical Phenomena? Mind 114 (454):223-238.
Jakub Čapek (2008). Explanation and Understanding: Action as “Historical Structure”. Philosophia 36 (4):453-463.
Stathis Psillos (2007). Past and Contemporary Perspectives on Explanation. In Theo A. F. Kuipers (ed.), General Philosophy of Science. North Holland. 2007--97.
Carlos Zednik (2011). The Nature of Dynamical Explanation. Philosophy of Science 78 (2):238-263.
Theodore Mischel (1966). Pragmatic Aspects of Explanation. Philosophy of Science 33 (1/2):40-60.
Added to index2009-10-03
Total downloads80 ( #16,961 of 1,102,995 )
Recent downloads (6 months)12 ( #16,301 of 1,102,995 )
How can I increase my downloads?