Reductionism redux: Computing the embryo [Book Review]

Biology and Philosophy 12 (4):445-470 (1997)

Authors
Alex Rosenberg
Duke University
Abstract
This paper argues that the consensus physicalist antireductionism in the philosophy of biology cannot accommodate the research strategy or indeed the recent findings of molecular developmental biology. After describing Wolperts programmatic claims on its behalf, and recent work by Gehring and others to identify the molecular determinants of development, the paper attempts to identify the relationship between evolutionary and developmental biology by reconciling two apparently conflicting accounts of bio-function – Wrights and Nagels (as elaborated by Cummins). Finally, the paper seeks a way of defending the two central theses of physicalist antireductionism in the light of the research program of molecular developmental biology, by sharply reducing their metaphysical force.
Keywords molecular development biology  physicalist antireductionism  homeo boxes  explanation  causation  ontology
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1006574719901
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References found in this work BETA

Functional Analysis.Robert Cummins - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (November):741-64.
1953 and All That. A Tale of Two Sciences.Philip Kitcher - 1984 - Philosophical Review 93 (3):335-373.
Artifact, Cause and Genic Selection.Elliott Sober & Richard C. Lewontin - 1982 - Philosophy of Science 49 (2):157-180.
Discovery and Explanation in Biology and Medicine.Kenneth F. Schaffner - 1995 - Journal of the History of Biology 28 (1):172-174.

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Citations of this work BETA

Biology Meets Physics: Reductionism and Multi-Scale Modeling of Morphogenesis.Sara Green & Robert Batterman - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 7161:20-34.
Nonreductive Individualism: Part I—Supervenience and Wild Disjunction.R. Keith Sawyer - 2002 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 32 (4):537-559.
Durkheim's Dilemma: Toward a Sociology of Emergence.R. Keith Sawyer - 2002 - Sociological Theory 20 (2):227-247.

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