How to be an anti-reductionist about developmental biology: Response to Laubichler and Wagner

Biology and Philosophy 19 (1):75-91 (2004)

Authors
Greg Frost-Arnold
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Abstract
Alexander Rosenberg recently claimed (1997) that developmental biology is currently being reduced to molecular biology. cite several concrete biological examples that are intended to impugn Rosenberg's claim. I first argue that although Laubichler and Wagner's examples would refute a very strong reductionism, a more moderate reductionism would escape their attacks. Next, taking my cue from the antireductionist's perennial stress on the importance of spatial organization, I describe one form an empirical finding that refutes this moderate reductionism would take. Finally, I point out an actual example, anterior-posterior axis determination in the chick, that challenges the reductionist's belief that all developmental regularities can be explained by molecular biology. In short, I argue that Rosenberg's position can be saved from Laubichler and Wagner's criticisms and putative counter-examples, but it would not survive a different kind of counter-example.
Keywords Developmental biology  Molecular biology  Reductionism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1023/B:BIPH.0000013291.43498.1f
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 38,878
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Varieties of Molecular Explanation.Marco J. Nathan - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (2):233-254.
Philosophical Issues in Experimental Biology.Ingo Brigandt - 2006 - Biology and Philosophy 21 (3):423–435.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
45 ( #159,061 of 2,319,058 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
7 ( #172,673 of 2,319,058 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature