The semantic approach to evolutionary theory

Biology and Philosophy 6 (1):59-80 (1991)
Authors
Marc Ereshefsky
University of Calgary
Abstract
Paul Thompson, John Beatty, and Elisabeth Lloyd argue that attempts to resolve certain conceptual issues within evolutionary biology have failed because of a general adherence to the received view of scientific theories. They maintain that such issues can be clarified and resolved when one adopts a semantic approach to theories. In this paper, I argue that such conceptual issues are just as problematic on a semantic approach. Such issues arise from the complexity involved in providing formal accounts of theoretical laws and scientific explanations. That complexity is due to empirical and pragmatic considerations, not one's adherence to a particular formal approach to theories. This analysis raises a broader question. How can any formal account properly represent the complex nature of empirical phenomena?
Keywords Evolution  semantic approach  theory
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DOI 10.1007/BF02426826
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References found in this work BETA

How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
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Citations of this work BETA

On a Straw Man in the Philosophy of Science - A Defense of the Received View.Sebastian Lutz - 2012 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 2 (1):77–120.
The Evolutionary Structure of Scientific Theories.John S. Wilkins - 1998 - Biology and Philosophy 13 (4):479–504.
Global Idealism/Local Materialism.Koichiro Matsuno & Stanley N. Salthe - 1995 - Biology and Philosophy 10 (3):309-337.
Defending the Semantic View: What It Takes.Soazig Le Bihan - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (3):249-274.

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