Science and Education 22 (1):69-91 (2013)
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 to different levels of organismal organization and use contributions from different biological disciplines. The essay lays out one model that views explanatory integration across different disciplines as being structured by scientific problems. I emphasize the philosophical need to take the explanatory aims pursued by different groups of scientists into account, as explanatory aims determine whether different explanations are competing or complementary and govern the dynamics of scientific practice, including interdisciplinary research. I distinguish different kinds of pluralism that philosophers have endorsed in the context of explanation in biology, and draw several implications for science education, especially the need to teach science as an interdisciplinary and dynamic practice guided by scientific problems and explanatory aims.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
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.
Integrating Data to Acquire New Knowledge: Three Modes of Integration in Plant Science.Sabina Leonelli - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):503-514.
Social Values Influence the Adequacy Conditions of Scientific Theories: Beyond Inductive Risk.Ingo Brigandt - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (3):326-356.
Cancer and the Goals of Integration.Anya Plutynski - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C (4):466-476.
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.
Similar books and articles
A Pragmatist Defense of Non-Relativistic Explanatory Pluralism in History and Social Science.Jeroen van Bouwel & Erik Weber - 2008 - History and Theory 47 (2):168–182.
Indispensability Arguments in Favour of Reductive Explanations.Jeroen van Bouwel, Erik Weber & Leen de Vreese - 2011 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 42 (1):33-46.
Models of Reduction and Categories of Reductionism.Sahotra Sarkar - 1992 - Synthese 91 (3):167-94.
Levels of Explanation in Biological Psychology.Huib L. de Jong - 2002 - Philosophical Psychology 15 (4):441-462.
Unification, Reduction, and Non-Ideal Explanations.Todd Jones - 1997 - Synthese 112 (1):75-96.
Reductionist Challenges to Explanatory Pluralism: Comment on McCauley.Markus I. Eronen - 2009 - Philosophical Psychology 22 (5):637-646.
Distinguishing Explanatory From Nonexplanatory Fictions.Alisa Bokulich - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (5):725-737.
Explanatory Pluralism and Complementarity: From Autonomy to Integration.Caterina Marchionni - 2008 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 38 (3):314-333.
Beyond Reduction and Pluralism: Toward an Epistemology of Explanatory Integration in Biology.Ingo Brigandt - 2010 - Erkenntnis 73 (3):295-311.
Evolutionary Developmental Biology and the Limits of Philosophical Accounts of Mechanistic Explanation.Ingo Brigandt - 2015 - In P.-A. Braillard & C. Malaterre (eds.), Explanation in Biology: An Enquiry into the Diversity of Explanatory Patterns in the Life Sciences. Springer. pp. 135–173.
Explanatory Pluralism in the Medical Sciences: Theory and Practice.Jeroen van Bouwel - 2010 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 31 (5):371-390.
Explanatory Relevance Across Disciplinary Boundaries: The Case of Neuroeconomics.Jaakko Kuorikoski & Petri Ylikoski - 2010 - Journal of Economic Methodology 17 (2):219–228.
Added to index2011-03-04
Total downloads205 ( #20,058 of 2,177,988 )
Recent downloads (6 months)8 ( #35,746 of 2,177,988 )
How can I increase my downloads?