Philosophy of Science 64 (4):467 (1997)

Elliott Sober
University of Wisconsin, Madison
John Beatty (1995) and Alexander Rosenberg (1994) have argued against the claim that there are laws in biology. Beatty's main reason is that evolution is a process full of contingency, but he also takes the existence of relative significance controversies in biology and the popularity of pluralistic approaches to a variety of evolutionary questions to be evidence for biology's lawlessness. Rosenberg's main argument appeals to the idea that biological properties supervene on large numbers of physical properties, but he also develops case studies of biological controversies to defend his thesis that biology is best understood as an instrumental discipline. The present paper assesses their arguments.
Keywords Biology   Laws
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DOI 10.1086/392622
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References found in this work BETA

The Language of Thought.J. A. Fodor - 1978 - Critica 10 (28):140-143.
Laws of Nature.Fred I. Dretske - 1977 - Philosophy of Science 44 (2):248-268.

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The Ontic Account of Scientific Explanation.Carl F. Craver - 2014 - In Marie I. Kaiser, Oliver R. Scholz, Daniel Plenge & Andreas Hüttemann (eds.), Explanation in the Special Sciences: The Case of Biology and History. Springer Verlag. pp. 27-52.
Dimensions of Scientific Law.Sandra D. Mitchell - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (2):242-265.
Pragmatic Laws.Sandra D. Mitchell - 1997 - Philosophy of Science 64 (4):479.
Prediction and Explanation in Historical Natural Science.Carol E. Cleland - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (3):551-582.

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