David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy of Science 68 (1):1-20 (2001)
This paper develops an account of explanation in biology which does not involve appeal to laws of nature, at least as traditionally conceived. Explanatory generalizations in biology must satisfy a requirement that I call invariance, but need not satisfy most of the other standard criteria for lawfulness. Once this point is recognized, there is little motivation for regarding such generalizations as laws of nature. Some of the differences between invariance and the related notions of stability and resiliency, due respectively to Sandra Mitchell and Brian Skyrms, are explored.
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Citations of this work BETA
Bernhard Nickel (2014). The Role of Kinds in the Semantics of Ceteris Paribus Laws. Erkenntnis 79 (10):1729-1744.
Andrew Hamilton (2007). Laws of Biology, Laws of Nature: Problems and (Dis)Solutions. Philosophy Compass 2 (3):592–610.
Benjamin C. Jantzen (2015). Projection, Symmetry, and Natural Kinds. Synthese 192 (11):3617-3646.
Jani Raerinne (2013). Stability and Lawlikeness. Biology and Philosophy 28 (5):833-851.
Phillip J. Torres (2009). A Modified Conception of Mechanisms. Erkenntnis 71 (2):233 - 251.
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