Philosophy of Science 71 (5):1201-1214 (2004)

Authors
Anya Plutynski
Washington University in St. Louis
Abstract
The recent literature in philosophy of biology has drawn attention to the different sorts of explanations proffered in the biological sciences—we have molecular, biomedical, and evolutionary explanations. Do these explanations all have a common structure or relation that they seek to capture? This paper will answer in the negative. I defend a pluralistic and pragmatic approach to explanation. Using examples from classical population genetics, I argue that formal demonstrations, and even strictly “mathematical truths,” may serve as explanatory in different historical contexts.
Keywords Biology   Pluralism   Explanation   Population Genetics
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DOI 10.1086/426773
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References found in this work BETA

The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.
The Scientific Image.Michael Friedman - 1982 - Journal of Philosophy 79 (5):274-283.
Explanatory Unification and the Causal Structure of the World.Philip Kitcher - 1989 - In Philip Kitcher & Wesley Salmon (eds.), Scientific Explanation. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. pp. 410-505.

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Citations of this work BETA

Confirmation and Explaining How Possible.Patrick Forber - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 41 (1):32-40.
Conceptual Fragmentation and the Rise of Eliminativism.Henry Taylor & Peter Vickers - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (1):17-40.
Confirmation and Explaining How Possible.Patrick Forber - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 41 (1):32-40.
Cancer and the Goals of Integration.Anya Plutynski - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (4):466-476.
J. B. S. Haldane, Ernst Mayr and the Beanbag Genetics Dispute.Veena Rao & Vidyanand Nanjundiah - 2011 - Journal of the History of Biology 44 (2):233 - 281.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

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Explanatory Unification and the Early Synthesis.Anya Plutynski - 2005 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (3):595-609.
Population Genetics.Roberta L. Millstein & Robert A. Skipper - 2006 - In David L. Hull & Michael Ruse (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to the Philosophy of Biology. Cambridge University Press.

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