Aspects of Reductive Explanation in Biological Science: Intrinsicality, Fundamentality, and Temporality

Authors
Alan Love
University of Minnesota
Abstract
The inapplicability of variations on theory reduction in the context of genetics and their irrelevance to ongoing research has led to an anti-reductionist consensus in philosophy of biology. One response to this situation is to focus on forms of reductive explanation that better correspond to actual scientific reasoning (e.g. part–whole relations). Working from this perspective, we explore three different aspects (intrinsicality, fundamentality, and temporality) that arise from distinct facets of reductive explanation: composition and causation. Concentrating on these aspects generates new forms of reductive explanation and conditions for their success or failure in biology and other sciences. This analysis is illustrated using the case of protein folding in molecular biology, which demonstrates its applicability and relevance, as well as illuminating the complexity of reductive reasoning in a specific biological context
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/axr006
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References found in this work BETA

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Citations of this work BETA

Dimensions of Integration in Interdisciplinary Explanations of the Origin of Evolutionary Novelty.Alan Love & Gary Lugar - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):537-550.
Collaborative Explanation, Explanatory Roles, and Scientific Explaining in Practice.Alan C. Love - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 52:88-94.

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