Material Models in Biology

Authors
James Griesemer
University of California, Davis
Abstract
Propositions alone are not constitutive of science. But is the "non-propositional" side of science theoretically superfluous: must philosophy of science consider it in order to adequately account for science? I explore the boundary between the propositional and non-propositional sides of biological theory, drawing on three cases: Grinnell's remnant models of faunas, Wright's path analysis, and Weismannism's role in the generalization of evolutionary theory. I propose a picture of material model-building in biology in which manipulated systems of material objects function as theoretical models. In each of the cases, material systems such as diagrams play important generative as well as presentational roles.
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The Strategy of Model-Based Science.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2006 - Biology and Philosophy 21 (5):725-740.
What’s so Special About Model Organisms?Rachel A. Ankeny & Sabina Leonelli - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (2):313-323.
The Mind, the Lab, and the Field: Three Kinds of Populations in Scientific Practice.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther, Ryan Giordano, Michael D. Edge & Rasmus Nielsen - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 52:12-21.
Parts and Theories in Compositional Biology.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2006 - Biology and Philosophy 21 (4):471-499.

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