The case for multiple realization in biology

Biology and Philosophy 33 (1-2):3 (2018)

Authors
Wesley Fang
Tongji University
Abstract
Polger and Shapiro argue that their official recipe, a criterion for judging when the phenomenon of multiple realization exists, renders MR less widespread than its proponents have assumed. I argue that, although Polger and Shapiro’s criterion is a useful contribution, they arrive at their conclusion too hastily. Contrary to Polger and Shapiro, I claim that the phenomenon of multiple realization in the biological world, judged by their criterion, is not as scarce as they suggest. To show this, an updated official recipe, namely a multiple mechanistic realization thesis, integrating Polger and Shapiro’s criterion with a compositional conception of realization, is developed. Then, three examples of varied kinds are examined, showing that cases of MR are not so hard to find in the biological world.
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DOI 10.1007/s10539-018-9613-7
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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.
Making Sense of Emergence.Jaegwon Kim - 1999 - Philosophical Studies 95 (1-2):3-36.
Top-Down Causation Without Top-Down Causes.Carl F. Craver & William Bechtel - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (4):547-563.
Special Sciences.Jerry A. Fodor - 1974 - Synthese 28 (2):97-115.

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Citations of this work BETA

Where Do You Get Your Protein? Or: Biochemical Realization.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.

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