Philosophy of Stem Cell Biology – an Introduction

Philosophy Compass 8 (12):1147-1158 (2013)

Authors
Melinda Bonnie Fagan
University of Utah
Abstract
This review surveys three central issues in philosophy of stem cell biology: the nature of stem cells, stem cell experiments, and explanations of stem cell capacities. First, I argue that the fundamental question ‘what is a stem cell?’ has no single substantive answer. Instead, the core idea is explicated via an abstract model, which accounts for many features of stem cell experiments. The second part of this essay examines several of these features: uncertainty, model organisms, and manipulability. The results shed light on the form of our emerging knowledge of stem cells: mechanistic explanations. The third part of the essay sketches some key features of these explanations, which are constructed by a collaborative experimenting community
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DOI 10.1111/phc3.12088
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References found in this work BETA

Thinking About Mechanisms.Peter K. Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
The Joint Account of Mechanistic Explanation.Melinda Bonnie Fagan - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (4):448-472.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Points of Concepts: Their Types, Tensions, and Connections.Matthieu Queloz - forthcoming - Canadian Journal of Philosophy:1-24.
Stem Cell Lineages: Between Cell and Organism.Melinda Bonnie Fagan - 2017 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 9 (6).

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