Bert Leuridan
University of Antwerp
Gregor Mendel, Thomas Hunt Morgan and experiments in classical geneticsIn the middle of the 19th century, Gregor Mendel performed a series of crosses with pea plants to investigate how hybrids are formed. Decades later, Thomas Hunt Morgan finalized the theory of classical genetics. An important aspect of Mendel’s and Morgan’s scientific approach is that they worked in a systematic, experimental fashion. But how did these experiments proceed? What is the relation between these experiments and Mendel’s and Morgan’s explanatory theories? What was their evidential value? Using present-day insights in the nature of experimentation I will show that the answer to these questions is fascinating but not obvious. Crossings in classical genetics lacked a crucial feature of traditional experiments for causal discovery: manipulation of the purported causes. Hence they were not traditional, ‘manipulative’ experiments, but ‘selective experiments’.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.5117/antw2021.1.005.leur
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,337
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

Mendel on Developmental Information.Yafeng Shan - 2021 - In Chris Meyns (ed.), Information and the History of Philosophy. London: Routledge. pp. 262-280.
Controversies in the Interpretation of Mendel's Discovery.Vítĕzslav Orel & Daniel L. Hartl - 1994 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 16 (3):423 - 464.
What Would Have Happened If Darwin Had Known Mendel (or Mendel's Work)?Pablo Lorenzano - 2011 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 33 (1):3-48.
Garland Allen, Thomas Hunt Morgan, and Development.Jane Maienschein - 2016 - Journal of the History of Biology 49 (4):587-601.
Thomas Hunt Morgan and the invisible gene: the right tool for the job.Giulia Frezza & Mauro Capocci - 2018 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 40 (2):31.
Regeneration: Thomas Hunt Morgan’s Window Into Development.Mary Evelyn Sunderland - 2010 - Journal of the History of Biology 43 (2):325-361.


Added to PP index

Total views
4 ( #1,278,789 of 2,508,058 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #416,715 of 2,508,058 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes