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  1. Explanation in Biology: Reduction, Pluralism, and Explanatory Aims.Ingo Brigandt - 2011 - Science & Education 22 (1):69-91.
    This essay analyzes and develops recent views about explanation in biology. Philosophers of biology have parted with the received deductive-nomological model of scientific explanation primarily by attempting to capture actual biological theorizing and practice. This includes an endorsement of different kinds of explanation (e.g., mathematical and causal-mechanistic), a joint study of discovery and explanation, and an abandonment of models of theory reduction in favor of accounts of explanatory reduction. Of particular current interest are philosophical accounts of complex explanations that appeal (...)
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  • Function, Homology and Character Individuation.Paul E. Griffiths - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 73 (1):1-25.
    I defend the view that many biological categories are defined by homology against a series of arguments designed to show that all biological categories are defined, at least in part, by selected function. I show that categories of homology are `abnormality inclusive'—something often alleged to be unique to selected function categories. I show that classifications by selected function are logically dependent on classifications by homology, but not vice-versa. Finally, I reject the view that biologists must use considerations of selected function (...)
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  • Function and Organization: Comparing the Mechanisms of Protein Synthesis and Natural Selection.Phyllis McKay Illari & Jon Williamson - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 41 (3):279-291.
    In this paper, we compare the mechanisms of protein synthesis and natural selection. We identify three core elements of mechanistic explanation: functional individuation, hierarchical nestedness or decomposition, and organization. These are now well understood elements of mechanistic explanation in fields such as protein synthesis, and widely accepted in the mechanisms literature. But Skipper and Millstein have argued that natural selection is neither decomposable nor organized. This would mean that much of the current mechanisms literature does not apply to the mechanism (...)
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  • Genidentity and Biological Processes.Thomas Pradeu - 2018 - In Daniel J. Nicholson & John Dupre (eds.), Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford University Press.
    A crucial question for a process view of life is how to identify a process and how to follow it through time. The genidentity view can contribute decisively to this project. It says that the identity through time of an entity X is given by a well-identified series of continuous states of affairs. Genidentity helps address the problem of diachronic identity in the living world. This chapter describes the centrality of the concept of genidentity for David Hull and proposes an (...)
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  • Emergence, Therefore Antireductionism? A Critique of Emergent Antireductionism.Tudor M. Baetu - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (3):433-448.
    Emergent antireductionism in biological sciences states that even though all living cells and organisms are composed of molecules, molecular wholes are characterized by emergent properties that can only be understood from the perspective of cellular and organismal levels of composition. Thus, an emergence claim (molecular wholes are characterized by emergent properties) is thought to support a form of antireductionism (properties of higher-level molecular wholes can only be understood by taking into account concepts, theories and explanations dealing with higher-level entities). I (...)
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  • Philosophical Issues in Experimental Biology.Ingo Brigandt - 2006 - Biology and Philosophy 21 (3):423–435.
    Review essay of The Philosophy of Experimental Biology by Marcel Weber (Cambridge University Press, 2005).
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  • Epigenesis and Pre-Formationism: Radiography of an Inconclusive Antinomy.Davide Vecchi & Isaac Hernández - 2015 - Scientiae Studia 13 (3):577-597.
    RESUMENEl desarrollo embriológico es un fenómeno que ha inspirado la especulación filosófica desde temprano en la historia del pensamiento. Desde los tiempos de Aristóteles dos modelos conceptuales antitéticos se han utilizado tradicionalmente para comprender la embriogénesis: o el embrión posee ya una forma o estructura, o ésta se forma de nuevo en cada generación. Nuestro objetivo en este artículo es mostrar que el contraste entre la posición preformacionista y epigenética persiste a pesar de los formidables avances teóricos y experimentales de (...)
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  • How Developmental is Evolutionary Developmental Biology?Jason Scott Robert - 2002 - Biology and Philosophy 17 (5):591-611.
    Evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) offers both an account of developmental processes and also new integrative frameworks for analyzing interactions between development and evolution. Biologists and philosophers are keen on evo-devo in part because it appears to offer a comfort zone between, on the one hand, what some take to be the relative inability of mainstream evolutionary biology to integrate a developmental perspective; and, on the other hand, what some take to be more intractable syntheses of development and evolution. In this (...)
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  • From Biological Determination to Entangled Causation.Davide Vecchi, Paul-Antoine Miquel & Isaac Hernández - 2019 - Acta Biotheoretica 67 (1):19-46.
    Biologists and philosophers often use the language of determination in order to describe the nature of developmental phenomena. Accounts in terms of determination have often been reductionist. One common idea is that DNA is supposed to play a special explanatory role in developmental explanations, namely, that DNA is a developmental determinant. In this article we try to make sense of determination claims in developmental biology. Adopting a manipulationist approach, we shall first argue that the notion of developmental determinant is causal. (...)
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  • More Worry and Less Love?Steven French - 2008 - Metascience 17 (1):1-26.
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  • The Varieties of Molecular Explanation.Marco J. Nathan - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (2):233-254.
  • Emergent Properties and the Context Objection to Reduction.Megan Delehanty - 2005 - Biology and Philosophy 20 (4):715-734.
    Reductionism is a central issue in the philosophy of biology. One common objection to reduction is that molecular explanation requires reference to higher-level properties, which I refer to as the context objection. I respond to this objection by arguing that a well-articulated notion of a mechanism and what I term mechanism extension enables one to accommodate the context-dependence of biological processes within a reductive explanation. The existence of emergent features in the context could be raised as an objection to the (...)
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  • Homology Thinking.Marc Ereshefsky - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (3):381-400.
    This paper explores an important type of biological explanation called ‘homology thinking.’ Homology thinking explains the properties of a homologue by citing the history of a homologue. Homology thinking is significant in several ways. First, it offers more detailed explanations of biological phenomena than corresponding analogy explanations. Second, it provides an important explanation of character similarity and difference. Third, homology thinking offers a promising account of multiple realizability in biology.
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