Pluralization through epistemic competition: scientific change in times of data-intensive biology


Authors
Nina Kranke
Universität Gesamthochschule Kassel
R. Meunier
London School of Economics
Abstract
We present two case studies from contemporary biology in which we observe conflicts between established and emerging approaches. The first case study discusses the relation between molecular biology and systems biology regarding the explanation of cellular processes, while the second deals with phylogenetic systematics and the challenge posed by recent network approaches to established ideas of evolutionary processes. We show that the emergence of new fields is in both cases driven by the development of high-throughput data generation technologies and the transfer of modeling techniques from other fields. New and emerging views are characterized by different philosophies of nature, i.e. by different ontological and methodological assumptions and epistemic values and virtues. This results in a kind of conflict we call “epistemic competition” that manifests in two ways: On the one hand, opponents engage in mutual critique and defense of their fundamental assumptions. On the other hand, they compete for the acceptance and integration of the knowledge they provide by a broader scientific community. Despite an initial rhetoric of replacement, the views as well as the respective audiences come to be seen as more clearly distinct during the course of the debate. Hence, we observe—contrary to many other accounts of scientific change—that conflict results in the formation of new niches of research, leading to co-existence and perceived complementarity of approaches. Our model thus contributes to the understanding of the pluralization of the scientific landscape.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s40656-018-0239-5
Options
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: 45,305
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

Thinking About Mechanisms.Peter K. Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
Explaining Science: A Cognitive Approach.Ronald N. Giere - 1988 - Philosophical Review 100 (4):653-656.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 15 (58):158-161.
Discovering Complexity.William Bechtel, Robert C. Richardson & Scott A. Kleiner - 1996 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 18 (3):363-382.

View all 45 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Philosophy of Experimental Biology.Marcel Weber - 2004 - Cambridge University Press.
Visual Data – Reasons to Be Relied On?Nicola Mößner - 2017 - In Nicola Mößner & Alfred Nordmann (eds.), Reasoning in Measurement. New York: Routledge. pp. 99-110.
Classificatory Theory in Biology.Sabina Leonelli - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (4):338-345.
The Structure of Idealization in Biological Theories: The Case of the Wright-Fisher Model. [REVIEW]Xavier Donato Rodríguez & Alfonso Arroyo Santos - 2012 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 43 (1):11-27.
The Structure of Idealization in Biological Theories: The Case of the Wright-Fisher Model.Xavier de Donato Rodríguez & Alfonso Arroyo Santos - 2012 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 43 (1):11-27.
When One Model is Not Enough: Combining Epistemic Tools in Systems Biology.Sara Green - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (2):170-180.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2019-01-03

Total views
15 ( #577,507 of 2,280,221 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #238,437 of 2,280,221 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature