Biology and Philosophy 25 (3):379-389 (2010)

Gregory J. Morgan
Stevens Institute of Technology
In this paper, I argue against John Beatty’s position in his paper “The Evolutionary Contingency Thesis” by counterexample. Beatty argues that there are no distinctly biological laws because the outcomes of the evolutionary processes are contingent. I argue that the heart of the Caspar–Klug theory of virus structure—that spherical virus capsids consist of 60T subunits (where T = k 2 + hk + h 2 and h and k are integers)—is a distinctly biological law even if the existence of spherical viruses is evolutionarily contingent.
Keywords Philosophy   Evolutionary Biology   Philosophy of Biology
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DOI 10.1007/s10539-009-9181-y
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References found in this work BETA

Counterfactuals.David K. Lewis - 1973 - Blackwell.
How the Laws of Physics Lie.Nancy Cartwright - 1983 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Shifting to Structures in Physics and Biology: A Prophylactic for Promiscuous Realism.Steven French - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 42 (2):164-173.
Evolutionary Contingency, Stability, and Biological Laws.Jani Raerinne - 2015 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 46 (1):45-62.
Understanding Viruses: Philosophical Investigations.Thomas Pradeu, Gladys Kostyrka & John Dupré - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 59:57-63.

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