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

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

Philippe Gagnon
Universite Catholique de Lyon
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
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 43,999
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Functions of Fossils: Inference and Explanation in Functional Morphology.D. Turner - 2000 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 31 (1):193-212.
Viability Explanation.Arno Wouters - 1995 - Biology and Philosophy 10 (4):435-457.
Studies in the Logic of Explanatory Power.Jonah N. Schupbach - 2011 - Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
The Limits of Explanation.Richard Swinburne - 1990 - Philosophy 27 (Supplement):177 - 193.
COMPARING PART-WHOLE REDUCTIVE EXPLANATIONS IN BIOLOGY AND PHYSICS.Alan C. Love & Andreas Hüttemann - 2011 - In Dennis Dieks, Wenceslao Gonzalo, Thomas Uebel, Stephan Hartmann & Marcel Weber (eds.), Explanation, Prediction, and Confirmation. Springer. pp. 183--202.
The Concept of Mechanism in Biology.Daniel J. Nicholson - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (1):152-163.


Added to PP index

Total views
31 ( #277,221 of 2,266,724 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #349,346 of 2,266,724 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature