Aristotelian Explanation and Homology in Biology

Ancient Philosophy Today 2 (1):45-69 (2020)

Authors
Anne Siebels Peterson
University of Utah
Abstract
In his account of epistēmē, the highest level of understanding attainable in philosophical inquiry, Aristotle articulates standards for the ideal explanations that confer this level of understanding. I argue that Aristotle's key standard for epistēmē is of central importance for the biological homology concept. The explanatory shortcoming that results from violating this standard has been vaguely articulated in recent literature on homology; Aristotle's account offers a more neutral and precise formulation of the shortcoming and its antidote. Further, the risk for this shortcoming has heightened with recent accounts of homology grounded in genetics, increasing the contemporary relevance of Aristotelian epistēmē.
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DOI 10.3366/anph.2020.0024
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References found in this work BETA

Evolutionary Essentialism.Denis Walsh - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (2):425-448.
The Complete Works of Aristotle. The Revised Oxford Translation.Jonathan Barnes - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 176 (4):493-494.
Aristotle on Principles as Elements.Marko Malink - 2017 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 53.

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