L'exigence de l'explication en biologie au regard d'une philosophie de la morphogenèse

Eikasia. Revista de Filosofía 35 (November):123-180 (2010)

Authors
Philippe Gagnon
Universite Catholique de Lyon
Abstract
In a first part I present the results of the philosophy of scientific explanation with an attempt to apply them to the case of the theory of evolution. Then I observe that the requirements of modelization of phenomena with the help of inductive logic do not capture efficiently the pertinent factors and fail just as much to exclude those which end up being neutral as explanatory premises. I then query in the direction of confirmation theory, and show that probabilistic reasoning does not possess the syntactic means of testing evolutionary hypotheses in a way that would rely on a valid mode of inference. In a second part, I try to show how biology has oscillated between two privileged modes of explanation, the first one being through form of which I suggest here that it has never been replaced and that it has known a forgotten vitality in the middle and latter part of the 19th Century, and the second one being through function here evaluated critically alongside that of tinkering. Finally, some limits are seen to hold against the pretence to epistemological exclusivism of those two outlooks on the biological object.
Keywords explanation  biology  probabilities  morphology  evolution  teratology
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