Experimental complexity in biology: Some epistemological and historical remarks

Philosophy of Science 64 (4):254 (1997)
Abstract
My paper draws on examples from molecular biology, the details of which I have developed elsewhere (Rheinberger 1992, 1993, 1995, 1997). Here, I can give only a brief outline of my argument. Reduction of complexity is a prerequisite for experimental research. To make sense of the universe of living beings, the modern biologist is bound to divide his world into fragments in which parameters can be defined, quantities measured, qualities identified. Such is the nature of any "experimental system." Ontic complexity has to be reduced in order to make experimental research possible. The complexity of the research object, however, is epistemically retained in the rich context of an experimental landscape, where the eruption of "volcanic systems" can change the scenery dramatically as the result of particular, unprecedented findings
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1086/392604
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,798
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
The Organism as Ontological Go-Between. Hybridity, Boundaries and Degrees of Reality in its Conceptual History.Charles T. Wolfe - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 1:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.shps.
The ‘Big Picture’: The Problem of Extrapolation in Basic Research.T. M. Baetu - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (4):941-964.
Models and the Mosaic of Scientific Knowledge. The Case of Immunology.Tudor M. Baetu - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 45 (1):49-56.
Evidence in Biology and the Conditions of Success.Jacob Stegenga - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (6):981-1004.
Towards a Hermeneutic of Technomedical Objects.Kjetil Rommetveit - 2008 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 29 (2):103-120.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total downloads
91 ( #59,210 of 2,200,121 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #300,203 of 2,200,121 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature