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Abstract
In the last few years, the lack of a unitary notion of gene across biological sciences has troubled the philosophy of biology community. However, the debate on this concept has remained largely historical or focused on particular cases presented by the scientific empirical advancements. Moreover, in the literature there are no explicit and reasonable arguments about why a philosophical clarification of the concept of gene is needed. In our paper, we claim that a philosophical clarification of the concept of gene does not contribute to biology. Unlike the question, for example, “What is a biological function?”, we argue that the question “What is a gene?” could be answered by means of empirical research, in the sense that biologists' labour is enough to shed light on it.
Keywords Gene  Theoretical terms  Natural kinds  Biological functions  Philosophy of science contribution to science
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsc.2016.04.005
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References found in this work BETA

Functional Analysis.Robert Cummins - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (November):741-64.
Is Semantics Possible?Hilary Putnam - 1970 - Metaphilosophy 1 (3):187–201.
Natural Kinds and Biological Taxa.John Dupre - 1981 - Philosophical Review 90 (1):66-90.
Eliminative Pluralism.Marc Ereshefsky - 1992 - Philosophy of Science 59 (4):671-690.

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Citations of this work BETA

Conceptual Challenges in the Theoretical Foundations of Systems Biology.Marta Bertolaso & Emanuele Ratti - 2018 - In Mariano Bizzarri (ed.), Systems Biology. New York: Springer, Humana Press. pp. 1-13.

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