Genetics and Reductionism

Cambridge University Press (2012)
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Abstract

With the advent of the Human Genome Project there have been many claims for the genetic origins of complex human behavior including insanity, criminality, and intelligence. But what does it really mean to call something 'genetic'? This is the fundamental question that Sahotra Sarkar's book addresses. The author analyses the nature of reductionism in classical and molecular genetics. He shows that there are two radically different kinds of reductionist explanation: genetic reduction (as found in classical genetics) and physical reduction (found in molecular genetics). This important book clarifies the meaning of the term 'genetic', shows how molecular studies have affected genetics, and provides the philosophical background necessary to understand the debates over the Human Genome Project. It will be of particular interest to professionals and students in the philosophy of science, the history of science, and the social studies of science, medicine, and technology.

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Author Profiles

Sahotra Sarkar
University of Texas at Austin

Citations of this work

Inference to the Best explanation.Peter Lipton - 2004 - In Martin Curd & Stathis Psillos (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Science. Routledge. pp. 193.
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.

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