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  1. Mehmet Elgin & Elliott Sober (2014). Causal, A Priori True, and Explanatory: A Reply to Lange and Rosenberg. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (1):167-171.
    Sober [2011] argues that some causal statements are a priori true and that a priori causal truths are central to explanations in the theory of natural selection. Lange and Rosenberg [2011] criticize Sober's argument. They concede that there are a priori causal truths, but maintain that those truths are only ‘minimally causal’. They also argue that explanations that are built around a priori causal truths are not causal explanations, properly speaking. Here we criticize both of Lange and Rosenberg's claims.
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  2. Kathryn S. Plaisance, Thomas A. C. Reydon & Mehmet Elgin (2012). Why the (Gene) Counting Argument Fails in the Massive Modularity Debate: The Need for Understanding Gene Concepts and Genotype-Phenotype Relationships. Philosophical Psychology 25 (6):873-892.
    A number of debates in philosophy of biology and psychology, as well as in their respective sciences, hinge on particular views about the relationship between genotypes and phenotypes. One such view is that the genotype-phenotype relationship is relatively straightforward, in the sense that a genome contains the ?genes for? the various traits that an organism exhibits. This leads to the assumption that if a particular set of traits is posited to be present in an organism, there must be a corresponding (...)
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  3. Mehmet Elgin (2010). How Could There Be True Causal Claims Without There Being Special Causal Facts in the World? Philosophia 38 (4):755-771.
    Some philosophers of physics recently expressed their skepticism about causation (Norton 2003b, 2007). However, this is not new. The view that causation does not refer to any ontological category perhaps can be attributed to Hume, Kant and Russell. On the other hand, some philosophers (Wesley Salmon and Phil Dowe) view causation as a physical process and some others (Cartwright) view causation as making claims about capacities possessed by objects. The issue about the ontological status of causal claims involves issues concerning (...)
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  4. Mehmet Elgin (2010). Mathematical Models, Explanation, Laws, and Evolutionary Biology. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 32 (4).
  5. Mehmet Elgin (2010). Reductionism in Biology: An Example of Biochemistry. In F. Stadler, D. Dieks, W. Gonzales, S. Hartmann, T. Uebel & M. Weber (eds.), The Present Situation in the Philosophy of Science. Springer. 195--203.
  6. Mehmet Elgin (2008). Theory-Laden Observation and Incommensurability. Organon F 15 (1):3-19.
    In this paper, I investigate the logical relation between two claims: observations are theory-laden1 and there is no empirical common ground upon which to evaluate successive scientific theories that belong to different paradigms. I, first, construct an argument where is the main premise and is the conclusion. I argue that the term „theory-laden” has three distinct senses: semantic, psychological and epistemic. If ‘theory-laden’ is understood in either epistemic or psychological senses, then the conclusion becomes a claim about people. If incommensurability (...)
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  7. Mehmet Elgin (2007). Falsificationism Revisited. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 5:101-106.
    Much ink has been spent on Popper's falsificationism. Why, then, am I writing another paper on this subject? This paper is neither a new kind of criticism nor a new kind of defense of falsificationism. Recent debate about the legitimacy of adaptationism among biologists centers on the question of whether Popper's falsificationism or Lakatos' methodology of scientific research programs (SRP) is adequate in understanding science. S. Jay Gould and Richard C. Lewontin (1978) argue that adaptationism is unfalsifiable since it easily (...)
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  8. Mehmet Elgin (2006). There May Be Strict Empirical Laws in Biology, After All. Biology and Philosophy 21 (1):119-134.
    This paper consists of four parts. Part 1 is an introduction. Part 2 evaluates arguments for the claim that there are no strict empirical laws in biology. I argue that there are two types of arguments for this claim and they are as follows: (1) Biological properties are multiply realized and they require complex processes. For this reason, it is almost impossible to formulate strict empirical laws in biology. (2) Generalizations in biology hold contingently but laws go beyond describing contingencies, (...)
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  9. Mehmet Elgin (2004). Bağlam Rasyonalizmi ve Bilimde İlerleme. Felsefe Tartismalari 33:69-80.
    Historically, those who defend the idea that there is a progress in science have been the ones who defend the view that science is a rational and objective activity. For those who do not think that science is an objective activity it is not meaningful to talk about theoretical and conceptual progress in science. What is meant by a “theoretical and conceptual progress”? If the succeeding theory performs better than the previous theory in explanations and predictions, then we can say (...)
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  10. Mehmet Elgin (2003). Biology and a Priori Laws. Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1380--1389.
    In this paper, I investigate the nature of a priori biological laws in connection with the idea that laws must be empirical. I argue that the epistemic functions of a priori biological laws in biology are the same as those of empirical laws in physics. Thus, the requirement that laws be empirical is idle in connection with how laws operate in science. This result presents a choice between sticking with an unmotivated philosophical requirement and taking the functional equivalence of laws (...)
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  11. Mehmet Elgin (2002). Laws in the Special Sciences: A Comparative Study of Biological Generalizations. Dissertation, The University of Wisconsin - Madison
    The question of whether biology contains laws has important implications about the nature of science. Some philosophers believe that the legitimacy of the special sciences depends on whether they contain laws. In this dissertation, I defend the thesis that biology contains laws. In Chapter I, I discuss the importance of this problem and set the stage for my inquiry. In Chapter V, I summarize the results of Chapters II, III, and IV and I offer reasons why the position I advance (...)
     
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  12. Mehmet Elgin & Elliott Sober (2002). Cartwright on Explanation and Idealization. Erkenntnis 57 (3):441 - 450.
    Nancy Cartwright (1983, 1999) argues that (1) the fundamental laws of physics are true when and only when appropriate ceteris paribus modifiers are attached and that (2) ceteris paribus modifiers describe conditions that are almost never satisfied. She concludes that when the fundamental laws of physics are true, they don't apply in the real world, but only in highly idealized counterfactual situations. In this paper, we argue that (1) and (2) together with an assumption about contraposition entail the opposite conclusion (...)
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