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Ingo Brigandt & Alan Love (2008). Reductionism in Biology.

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  1.  9
    The Heuristic of Form: Mitochondrial Morphology and the Explanation of Oxidative Phosphorylation.Karl Matlin - 2016 - Journal of the History of Biology 49 (1):37-94.
    In the 1950s and 1960s, the search for the mechanism of oxidative phosphorylation by biochemists paralleled the description of mitochondrial form by George Palade and Fritiof Sjöstrand using electron microscopy. This paper explores the extent to which biochemists studying oxidative phosphorylation took mitochondrial form into account in the formulation of hypotheses, design of experiments, and interpretation of results. By examining experimental approaches employed by the biochemists studying oxidative phosphorylation, and their interactions with Palade, I suggest that use of mitochondrial form (...)
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  2.  48
    On the Nature of Cross-Disciplinary Integration: A Philosophical Framework.Michael O'Rourke, Stephen Crowley & Chad Gonnerman - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 56:62-70.
    Meeting grand challenges requires responses that constructively combine multiple forms of expertise, both academic and non-academic; that is, it requires cross-disciplinary integration. But just what is cross-disciplinary integration? In this paper, we supply a preliminary answer by reviewing prominent accounts of cross-disciplinary integration from two literatures that are rarely brought together: cross-disciplinarity and philosophy of biology. Reflecting on similarities and differences in these accounts, we develop a framework that integrates their insights—integration as a generic combination process the details of which (...)
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  3.  12
    Toolbox Murders: Putting Genes in Their Epigenetic and Ecological Contexts.T. Pradeu - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (1):125-142.
    Griffiths and Stotz’s Genetics and Philosophy: An Introduction offers a very good overview of scientific and philosophical issues raised by present-day genetics. Examining, in particular, the questions of how a “gene” should be defined and what a gene does from a causal point of view, the authors explore the different domains of the life sciences in which genetics has come to play a decisive role, from Mendelian genetics to molecular genetics, behavioural genetics, and evolution. In this review, I highlight what (...)
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  4. Shapelessness in Context.Pekka Väyrynen - 2014 - Noûs 48 (3):573-593.
    Many philosophers believe that the extensions of evaluative terms and concepts aren’t unified under non-evaluative similarity relations and that this “shapelessness thesis” (ST) has significant metaethical implications regarding non-cognitivism, ethical naturalism, moral particularism, thick concepts and more. ST is typically offered as an explanation of why evaluative classifications appear to “outrun” classifications specifiable in independently intelligible non-evaluative terms. This paper argues that both ST and the outrunning point used to motivate it can be explained on the basis of more general (...)
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  5.  4
    From Molecules to Behavior and the Clinic: Integration in Chronobiology.William Bechtel - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):493-502.
    Chronobiology, especially the study of circadian rhythms, provides a model scientific field in which philosophers can study how investigators from a variety of disciplines working at different levels of organization are each contributing to a multi-level account of the responsible mechanism. I focus on how the framework of mechanistic explanation integrates research designed to decompose the mechanism with efforts directed at recomposition that relies especially on computation models. I also examine how recently the integration has extended beyond basic research to (...)
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  6.  24
    Integration in Biology: Philosophical Perspectives on the Dynamics of Interdisciplinarity.Ingo Brigandt - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):461-465.
    This introduction to the special section on integration in biology provides an overview of the different contributions. In addition to motivating the philosophical significance of analyzing integration and interdisciplinary research, I lay out common themes and novel insights found among the special section contributions, and indicate how they exhibit current trends in the philosophical study of integration. One upshot of the contributed papers is that there are different aspects to and kinds of integration, so that rather than attempting to offer (...)
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  7. Systems Biology and the Integration of Mechanistic Explanation and Mathematical Explanation.Ingo Brigandt - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):477-492.
    The paper discusses how systems biology is working toward complex accounts that integrate explanation in terms of mechanisms and explanation by mathematical models—which some philosophers have viewed as rival models of explanation. Systems biology is an integrative approach, and it strongly relies on mathematical modeling. Philosophical accounts of mechanisms capture integrative in the sense of multilevel and multifield explanations, yet accounts of mechanistic explanation have failed to address how a mathematical model could contribute to such explanations. I discuss how mathematical (...)
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  8.  11
    Integration of Specialties: An Institutional and Organizational View.Elihu M. Gerson - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):515-524.
    By what mechanisms of organizational and institutional change do different specialties succeed in accommodating and working with one another? How do these mechanisms function over time to support and retard the emergence and stability of new knowledge? This paper considers two such mechanisms, metawork and common knowledge. These mechanisms integrate specialties by making the activities of multiple specialties dependent upon one another, and by segmenting the common effort from the parent specialties. Integration of specialties can lead to the development of (...)
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  9.  22
    Integration of Approaches in David Wake’s Model-Taxon Research Platform for Evolutionary Morphology.James Griesemer - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):525-536.
    What gets integrated in integrative scientific practices has been a topic of much discussion. Traditional views focus on theories and explanations, with ideas of reduction and unification dominating the conversation. More recent ideas focus on disciplines, fields, or specialties; models, mechanisms, or methods; phenomena, problems. How integration works looks different on each of these views since the objects of integration are ontologically and epistemically various: statements, boundary conditions, practices, protocols, methods, variables, parameters, domains, laboratories, and questions all have their own (...)
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  10.  19
    Dimensions of Integration in Interdisciplinary Explanations of the Origin of Evolutionary Novelty.Alan C. Love & Gary L. Lugar - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):537-550.
    Many philosophers of biology have embraced a version of pluralism in response to the failure of theory reduction but overlook how concepts, methods, and explanatory resources are in fact coordinated, such as in interdisciplinary research where the aim is to integrate different strands into an articulated whole. This is observable for the origin of evolutionary novelty—a complex problem that requires a synthesis of intellectual resources from different fields to arrive at robust answers to multiple allied questions. It is an apt (...)
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  11.  13
    Microbes Modeling Ontogeny.Alan C. Love & Michael Travisano - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (2):161-188.
    Model organisms are central to contemporary biology and studies of embryogenesis in particular. Biologists utilize only a small number of species to experimentally elucidate the phenomena and mechanisms of development. Critics have questioned whether these experimental models are good representatives of their targets because of the inherent biases involved in their selection (e.g., rapid development and short generation time). A standard response is that the manipulative molecular techniques available for experimental analysis mitigate, if not counterbalance, this concern. But the most (...)
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  12.  15
    When Integration Fails: Prokaryote Phylogeny and the Tree of Life.Maureen A. O’Malley - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):551-562.
    Much is being written these days about integration, its desirability and even its necessity when complex research problems are to be addressed. Seldom, however, do we hear much about the failure of such efforts. Because integration is an ongoing activity rather than a final achievement, and because today’s literature about integration consists mostly of manifesto statements rather than precise descriptions, an examination of unsuccessful integration could be illuminating to understand better how it works. This paper will examine the case of (...)
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  13.  81
    Cancer and the Goals of Integration.Anya Plutynski - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C (4):466-476.
    Cancer is not one, but many diseases, and each is a product of a variety of causes acting (and interacting) at distinct temporal and spatial scales, or “levels” in the biological hierarchy. In part because of this diversity of cancer types and causes, there has been a diversity of models, hypotheses, and explanations of carcinogenesis. However, there is one model of carcinogenesis that seems to have survived the diversification of cancer types: the multi-stage model of carcinogenesis. This paper examines the (...)
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  14.  16
    Cancer and the Goals of Integration.Anya Plutynski - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):466-476.
    Cancer is not one, but many diseases, and each is a product of a variety of causes acting at distinct temporal and spatial scales, or ‘‘levels’’ in the biological hierarchy. In part because of this diversity of cancer types and causes, there has been a diversity of models, hypotheses, and explanations of carcinogenesis. However, there is one model of carcinogenesis that seems to have survived the diversification of cancer types: the multi-stage model of carcinogenesis. This paper examines the history of (...)
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  15. From Molecules to Behavior and the Clinic: Integration in Chronobiology.William Bechtel - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 44 (4):493-502.
    Chronobiology, especially the study of circadian rhythms, provides a model scientific field in which philosophers can study how investigators from a variety of disciplines working at different levels of organization are each contributing to a multi-level account of the responsible mechanism. I focus on how the framework of mechanistic explanation integrates research designed to decompose the mechanism with efforts directed at recomposition that relies especially on computation models. I also examine how recently the integration has extended beyond basic research to (...)
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  16.  40
    Against Reduction.James Maclaurin - 2011 - Biology and Philosophy 26 (1):151-158.
    In Molecular Models: Philosophical Papers on Molecular Biology, Sahotra Sarkar presents a historical and philosophical analysis of four important themes in philosophy of science that have been influenced by discoveries in molecular biology. These are: reduction, function, information and directed mutation. I argue that there is an important difference between the cases of function and information and the more complex case of scientific reduction. In the former cases it makes sense to taxonomise important variations in scientific and philosophical usage of (...)
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  17. Beyond Reduction and Pluralism: Toward an Epistemology of Explanatory Integration in Biology.Ingo Brigandt - 2010 - Erkenntnis 73 (3):295-311.
    The paper works towards an account of explanatory integration in biology, using as a case study explanations of the evolutionary origin of novelties-a problem requiring the integration of several biological fields and approaches. In contrast to the idea that fields studying lower level phenomena are always more fundamental in explanations, I argue that the particular combination of disciplines and theoretical approaches needed to address a complex biological problem and which among them is explanatorily more fundamental varies with the problem pursued. (...)
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  18. The Epistemic Goal of a Concept: Accounting for the Rationality of Semantic Change and Variation.Ingo Brigandt - 2010 - Synthese 177 (1):19-40.
    The discussion presents a framework of concepts that is intended to account for the rationality of semantic change and variation, suggesting that each scientific concept consists of three components of content: 1) reference, 2) inferential role, and 3) the epistemic goal pursued with the concept’s use. I argue that in the course of history a concept can change in any of these components, and that change in the concept’s inferential role and reference can be accounted for as being rational relative (...)
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