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Marie I. Kaiser
Bielefeld University
  1. The Metaphysics of Constitutive Mechanistic Phenomena.Marie I. Kaiser & Beate Krickel - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (3).
    The central aim of this article is to specify the ontological nature of constitutive mechanistic phenomena. After identifying three criteria of adequacy that any plausible approach to constitutive mechanistic phenomena must satisfy, we present four different suggestions, found in the mechanistic literature, of what mechanistic phenomena might be. We argue that none of these suggestions meets the criteria of adequacy. According to our analysis, constitutive mechanistic phenomena are best understood as what we will call ‘object-involving occurrents’. Furthermore, on the basis (...)
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  2.  21
    Reductive Explanation in the Biological Sciences.Marie I. Kaiser - 2015 - Cham: Springer.
    Back cover: This book develops a philosophical account that reveals the major characteristics that make an explanation in the life sciences reductive and distinguish them from non-reductive explanations. Understanding what reductive explanations are enables one to assess the conditions under which reductive explanations are adequate and thus enhances debates about explanatory reductionism. The account of reductive explanation presented in this book has three major characteristics. First, it emerges from a critical reconstruction of the explanatory practice of the life sciences itself. (...)
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  3. Mechanisms and Laws: Clarifying the Debate.Marie I. Kaiser & C. F. Craver - 2013 - In H.-K. Chao, S.-T. Chen & R. Millstein (eds.), Mechanism and Causality in Biology and Economics. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 125-145.
    Leuridan (2011) questions whether mechanisms can really replace laws at the heart of our thinking about science. In doing so, he enters a long-standing discussion about the relationship between the mech-anistic structures evident in the theories of contemporary biology and the laws of nature privileged especially in traditional empiricist traditions of the philosophy of science (see e.g. Wimsatt 1974; Bechtel and Abrahamsen 2005; Bogen 2005; Darden 2006; Glennan 1996; MDC 2000; Schaffner 1993; Tabery 2003; Weber 2005). In our view, Leuridan (...)
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  4. The Components and Boundaries of Mechanisms.Marie I. Kaiser - 2017 - In S. Glennan & P. Illari (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Mechanisms and Mechanical Philosophy. New York, USA: Routledge.
    Mechanisms are said to consist of two kinds of components, entities and activities. In the first half of this chapter, I examine what entities and activities are, how they relate to well-known ontological categories, such as processes or dispositions, and how entities and activities relate to each other (e.g., can one be reduced to the other or are they mutually dependent?). The second part of this chapter analyzes different criteria for individuating the components of mechanisms and discusses how real the (...)
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  5. Causal Graphs and Biological Mechanisms.Alexander Gebharter & Marie I. Kaiser - 2014 - In Marie I. Kaiser, Oliver Scholz, Daniel Plenge & Andreas Hüttemann (eds.), Explanation in the special sciences: The case of biology and history. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 55-86.
    Modeling mechanisms is central to the biological sciences – for purposes of explanation, prediction, extrapolation, and manipulation. A closer look at the philosophical literature reveals that mechanisms are predominantly modeled in a purely qualitative way. That is, mechanistic models are conceived of as representing how certain entities and activities are spatially and temporally organized so that they bring about the behavior of the mechanism in question. Although this adequately characterizes how mechanisms are represented in biology textbooks, contemporary biological research practice (...)
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  6. Individuating Part-Whole Relations in the Biological World.Marie I. Kaiser - 2018 - In O. Bueno, R.-L. Chen & M. B. Fagan (eds.), Individuation Across Experimental and Theoretical Sciences. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    What are the conditions under which one biological object is a part of another biological object? This paper answers this question by developing a general, systematic account of biological parthood. I specify two criteria for biological parthood. Substantial Spatial Inclusionrequires biological parts to be spatially located inside or in the region that the natural boundary of t he biological whole occupies. Compositional Relevance captures the fact that a biological part engages in a biological process that must make a necessary contribution (...)
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  7.  79
    What is an Animal Personality?Marie I. Kaiser & Caroline Müller - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (1):1-25.
    Individuals of many animal species are said to have a personality. It has been shown that some individuals are bolder than other individuals of the same species, or more sociable or more aggressive. In this paper, we analyse what it means to say that an animal has a personality. We clarify what an animal personality is, that is, its ontology, and how different personality concepts relate to each other, and we examine how personality traits are identified in biological practice. Our (...)
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  8. The Limits of Reductionism in the Life Sciences.Marie I. Kaiser - 2011 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 33 (4):453-476.
    In the contemporary life sciences more and more researchers emphasize the “limits of reductionism” (e.g. Ahn et al. 2006a, 709; Mazzocchi 2008, 10) or they call for a move “beyond reductionism” (Gallagher/Appenzeller 1999, 79). However, it is far from clear what exactly they argue for and what the envisioned limits of reductionism are. In this paper I claim that the current discussions about reductionism in the life sciences, which focus on methodological and explanatory issues, leave the concepts of a reductive (...)
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  9.  52
    Normativity in the Philosophy of Science.Marie I. Kaiser - 2019 - Metaphilosophy 50 (1-2):36-62.
    This paper analyzes what it means for philosophy of science to be normative. It argues that normativity is a multifaceted phenomenon rather than a general feature that a philosophical theory either has or lacks. It analyzes the normativity of philosophy of science by articulating three ways in which a philosophical theory can be normative. Methodological normativity arises from normative assumptions that philosophers make when they select, interpret, evaluate, and mutually adjust relevant empirical information, on which they base their philosophical theories. (...)
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  10. Why It Is Time To Move Beyond Nagelian Reduction.Marie I. Kaiser - 2012 - In D. Dieks, W. J. Gonzalez, S. Hartmann, M. Stöltzner & M. Weber (eds.), Probabilities, Laws, and Structures. The Philosophy of Science in a European Perspective. Heidelberg, GER: Springer. pp. 255-272.
    In this paper I argue that it is finally time to move beyond the Nagelian framework and to break new ground in thinking about epistemic reduction in biology. I will do so, not by simply repeating all the old objections that have been raised against Ernest Nagel’s classical model of theory reduction. Rather, I grant that a proponent of Nagel’s approach can handle several of these problems but that, nevertheless, Nagel’s general way of thinking about epistemic reduction in terms of (...)
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  11. Interdisciplinarity in Philosophy of Science.Marie I. Kaiser, Maria Kronfeldner & Robert Meunier - 2014 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 45 (1):59-70.
    This paper examines various ways in which philosophy of science can be interdisciplinary. It aims to provide a map of relations between philosophy and sciences, some of which are interdisciplinary. Such a map should also inform discussions concerning the question “How much philosophy is there in the philosophy of science?” In Sect. 1, we distinguish between synoptic and collaborative interdisciplinarity. With respect to the latter, we furthermore distinguish between two kinds of reflective forms of collaborative interdisciplinarity. We also briefly explicate (...)
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  12. On the Limits of Causal Modeling: Spatially-Structurally Complex Biological Phenomena.Marie I. Kaiser - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (5):921-933.
    This paper examines the adequacy of causal graph theory as a tool for modeling biological phenomena and formalizing biological explanations. I point out that the causal graph approach reaches it limits when it comes to modeling biological phenomena that involve complex spatial and structural relations. Using a case study from molecular biology, DNA-binding and -recognition of proteins, I argue that causal graph models fail to adequately represent and explain causal phenomena in this field. The inadequacy of these models is due (...)
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  13. Potentiality in Biology.Andreas Hüttemann & Marie I. Kaiser - 2018 - In K. Engelhardt & M. Quante (eds.), Handbook of Potentiality. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 401-428.
    We take the potentialities that are studied in the biological sciences (e.g., totipotency) to be an important subtype of biological dispositions. The goal of this paper is twofold: first, we want to provide a detailed understanding of what biological dispositions are. We claim that two features are essential for dispositions in biology: the importance of the manifestation process and the diversity of conditions that need to be satisfied for the disposition to be manifest. Second, we demonstrate that the concept of (...)
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  14. Introduction: Points of Contact Between Biology and History.Marie I. Kaiser & Daniel Plenge - 2014 - In Marie I. Kaiser, Oliver Scholz, Daniel Plenge & Andreas Hüttemann (eds.), Explanation in the special science: The case of biology and history. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 1-23.
  15. Complexity.Marie I. Kaiser - 2013 - In W. Dubitzky, O. Wolkenhauser, K.-H. Cho & H. Yokota (eds.), Encyclopedia of Systems Biology. New York, USA: Springer. pp. 456-460.
    This is a contribution to the encyclopedia of systems biology on complexity.
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  16. Problems and Prospects of Interdisciplinarity: The Case of Philosophy of Science.Marie I. Kaiser, Robert Meunier & Maria Kronfeldner - 2016 - Interdisciplinary Science Reviews 41 (1):61-70.
    In this paper, we discuss some problems and prospects of interdisciplinary encounters by focusing on philosophy of science as a case study. After introducing the case, we give an overview about the various ways in which philosophy of science can be interdisciplinary in Section 2. In Section 3, we name some general problems concerning the possible points of interaction between philosophy of science and the sciences studied. In Section 4 we compare the advantages and risks of interdisciplinarity for individual researchers (...)
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  17.  42
    Explanation in the Special Science: The Case of Biology and History.Marie I. Kaiser, Oliver Scholz, Daniel Plenge & Andreas Hüttemann (eds.) - 2014 - Dordrecht: Springer.
    Biology and history are often viewed as closely related disciplines, with biology informed by history, especially in its task of charting our evolutionary past. Maximizing the opportunities for cross-fertilization in these two fields requires an accurate reckoning of their commonalities and differences-precisely what this volume sets out to achieve. Specially commissioned essays by a team of recognized international researchers cover the full panoply of topics in these fields and include notable contributions on the correlativity of evolutionary and historical explanations, applying (...)
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  18.  49
    Problems and Prospects of Interdisciplinary Philosophy of Science: A Report From the Workbench.Marie I. Kaiser, Maria Kronfeldner & Robert Meunier - 2015 - Briefe Zur Interdisziplinarität 15:32-41.
    Early-career philosophers of science often find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place, facing conflicting demands. While they have to meet the rigorous standards of a career in philosophy, they are at the same time expected to possess detailed knowledge of the sciences they study. By pulling in different directions, these two poles can be difficult to bridge. Interdisciplinarily engaged philosophers of science face not just an increased workload but also institutional conditions that are not always supportive for (...)
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  19. Der Evolutionäre Naturalismus in der Ethik.Marie I. Kaiser - 2010 - In J. Oehler (ed.), Der Mensch - Evolution, Natur und Kultur: Beiträge zu unserem heutigen Menschenbild. Berlin, GER: Springer. pp. 261-283.
    Charles Darwin hat eindrucksvoll gezeigt, dass der Mensch ebenso wie alle anderen Lebewesen ein Produkt der biologischen Evolution ist. Die sich an Darwin anschließende Forschung hat außerdem plausibel gemacht, dass sich nicht nur viele der körperlichen Merkmale des Menschen, sondern auch (zumindest einige) seiner Verhaltensdispositionen in adaptiven Selektionsprozessen herausgebildet haben. Die Vorstellung, dass auch die menschliche Moralität evolutionär bedingt ist, scheint daher auf den ersten Blick ganz überzeugend. Schließlich hat die Evolutionstheorie in den vergangenen Jahrzehnten in vielen Bereichen (auch außerhalb (...)
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  20. An Ontic Account of Explanatory Reduction in Biology.Marie I. Kaiser - 2012 - Köln: Kölner Hochschulschriften.
    Convincing disputes about explanatory reductionism in the philosophy of biology require a clear and precise understanding of what a reductive explanation in biology is. The central aim of this book is to provide such an account by revealing the features that determine the reductive character of a biological explanation. Chapters I-IV provide the ground, on which I can then, in Chapter V, develop my own account of explanatory reduction in biology: Chapter I reveals the meta-philosophical assumptions that underlie my analysis (...)
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  21. Is Simplicity an Adequate Criterion of Theory Choice.Julia Göhner, Marie I. Kaiser & Christian Suhm - 2008 - In N. Mößner, S. Schmoranzer & C. Weidemann (eds.), Richard Swinburne. Frankfurt/Main, GER: ontos. pp. 33-45.
    According to Richard Swinburne, the principle of simplicity is of great importance to theory choice scenarios and theoretical changes in the sciences. In particular, he holds that the theory choice criterion of fit with background evidence can be reduced to the criteria of simplicity and of yielding the data. We will, however, rebut this reduction thesis and show that three central aspects of theoretical change (confirming power of empirical data, reliability of experimental methods, and truth of new theoretical proposals) cannot (...)
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  22.  7
    Die Debatte Um Die Einheiten der Natürlichen Selektion: Pluralistische Lösungsansatze.Marie I. Kaiser - 2008 - Saarbrücken, GER: VDM Verlag.
    What is the level of organization on which natural selection operates? Are genes, organisms or groups the entities that are selected in adaptive evolutionary processes? This book discusses recent pluralistic solutions to the problem of the units of selection. After introducing central concepts and ideas from evolutionary biology, this book constructs a novel map of the philosophical debate and locates gene selectionism, multilevel selection theory, and description pluralism on the map. The book closes with a critical discussion of different versions (...)
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  23.  83
    Pragmatism, Realism, and Science.Marius Backmann, Adreas Berg-Hildebrandt, Marie I. Kaiser, Michael Pohl, Raja Rosenhagen & Christian Suhm - 2005 - In A. Vieth (ed.), Richard Rorty. His Phiosophy under Discussion. Frankfurt/Main, GER: ontos. pp. 65-78.
  24. Philosophie der Lebenswissenschaften.Susanne Bauer, Lara Huber, Marie I. Kaiser, Lara Keuck, Ulrich Krohs, Maria Kronfeldner, Peter McLaughlin, Kären Nickelson, Thomas Reydon, Neil Roughley, Christian Sachse, Marianne Schark, Georg Toepfer, Marcel Weber & Markus Wild - 2013 - Information Philosophie 4:14-27.
    This paper summarizes (in German) recent tendencies in the philosophy of the life sciences.
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  25. Well-Ordered Philosophy? Reflections on Kitcher's Proposal for a Renewal of Philosophy.E.-M. Jung & Marie I. Kaiser - 2013 - In Marie I. Kaiser & A. Seide (eds.), Philip Kitcher – Pragmatic Naturalism. Frankfurt/Main, Germany: ontos. pp. 161-174.
    In his recent article Philosophy Inside Out, Philip Kitcher presents a metaphilosophical outlook that aims at nothing less than a renewal of philosophy. His idea is to draw philosophers’ attention away from “timeless questions” in the so-called “core areas” of philosophy. Instead, philosophers should address questions that matter to human lives. The aim of this paper is twofold: first, to reconstruct Kitcher’s view of how philosophy should be renewed; second, to point out some difficulties relating to his position. These difficulties (...)
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  26.  59
    Biological Parts.Marie I. Kaiser - 2017 - In H. Burkhardt, J. Seibt & G. Imaguire (eds.), Handbook of Mereology. München: Philosophia Verlag GmbH. pp. 97-100.
  27. Causality in the Biological Sciences.Marie I. Kaiser - 2014 - The Reasoner 8 (3):28-29.
  28. Disposition.Marie I. Kaiser & Andreas Hüttemann - 2013 - In W. Dubitzky, O. Wolkenhauer, K.-H. Cho & H. Yokota (eds.), Encyclopedia of Systems Biology, Vol. X. New York: Springer. pp. 594-597.
    This is a contribution to the encyclopedia of systems biology on dispositions.
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  29.  23
    Explanation in Evo-Devo.Marie I. Kaiser - 2021 - In L. N. de la Rosa & G. B. Müller (eds.), Evolutionary Developmental Biology - A Reference Guide. Cham: Springer.
    Evo-devo is a multidisciplinary field that investigates the interplay between evolutionary and developmental processes and brings together different kinds of explanatory strategies. This chapter examines the structure of paradigmatic explanations in evo-devo (e.g., the explanation of the origin of an evolutionary novelty) and raises philosophical questions about explanation in evo-devo. Much research in evo-devo is concerned with studying the developmental mechanisms that constrain and facilitate phenotypic evolution, which suggests that a distinctive feature of evo-devo is that it constructs mechanistic explanations. (...)
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  30.  12
    ENCODE and the Parts of the Human Genome.Marie I. Kaiser - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 72:28-37.
    This paper examines a specific kind of part-whole relations that exist in the molecular genetic domain. The central question is under which conditions a particular molecule, such as a DNA sequence, is a biological part of the human genome. I address this question by analyzing how biologists in fact partition the human genome into parts. This paper thus presents a case study in the metaphysics of biological practice. I develop a metaphysical account of genomic parthood by analyzing the investigative and (...)
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  31.  52
    Experience Becoming Fully Literate. Van Fraassen on the Verge of Constructivism.Marie I. Kaiser, Raja Rosenhagen & Christian Suhm - 2006 - In A. Berg-Hildebrandt & C. Suhm (eds.), The Philosophy of Bas C. van Fraassen. Frankfurt/Main, GER: ontos. pp. 69-79.
    The observable/unobservable distinction, realistically construed, is a feature which lies at the very heart of van Fraassen’s constructive empiricism. The aim of this paper is to approach it by taking a close look at van Fraassen’s concept of observation. We will argue that if van Fraassen’s most recent writings about “literate experience”, especially his remarks on the status of observation reports and his general a-metaphysical stance, are taken into account, his realistic interpretation of the observable/unobservable distinction paves the road for (...)
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  32. Ecological-Evolutionary Mechanisms and Individualized Niches.Rose Trappes & Marie I. Kaiser - forthcoming - In From Biological Practice to Scientific Metaphysics.
  33.  83
    L'explication en biologie.Marie I. Kaiser - 2014 - In F. Merlin & T. Hoquet (eds.), Précis de Philosophie de la biologie [Handbook Philosophy of Biology]. Paris, France: Vuibert Press. pp. 143-155.
  34.  37
    Philip Kitcher – Pragmatic Naturalism.Marie I. Kaiser & Ansgar Seide (eds.) - 2013 - Frankfurt/Main, Germany: ontos.
    Philip Kitcher is one of the most distinguished philosophers of our days. Since the rise of philosophy of biology in the 1960s Kitcher has deeply influenced and inspired many of the debates in this field. Among his most important books are The Advancement of Science (1993), In Mendel’s Mirror: Philosophical Reflections on Biology (2003), and Science in a Democratic Society (2011). However, Kitcher’s philosophical interest is not restricted to the philosophy of science. Rather, he has also made groundbreaking contributions to (...)
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  35.  85
    Philosophy of Microbiology.Marie I. Kaiser - 2015 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 29 (2):224-228.
    Book Review Philosophy of Microbiology MAUREEN A. O’MALLEY.
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  36.  39
    Reduction.Marie I. Kaiser - 2013 - In W. Dubitzky, O. Wolkenhauer, K.-H. Cho & H. Yokota (eds.), Encyclopedia of Systems Biology, Vol. X. New York, USA: Springer. pp. 1827-1830.
    This is a contribution to the encyclopedia of systems biology on reduction.
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  37.  12
    Scott Lidgard; Lynn K. Nyhart . Biological Individuality: Integrating Scientific, Philosophical, and Historical Perspectives. 361 Pp., Figs., Index. Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, 2017. $25 . ISBN 9780226446455. [REVIEW]Marie I. Kaiser - 2019 - Isis 110 (1):146-147.
    This is a book review of Lidgard & Nyhart's edited collection on biological individuality that is aimed at integrating scientific, philosophical, and historical perspectives.
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  38. Themen aus den Lebenswissenschaften.Marie I. Kaiser - 2017 - In M. Schrenk (ed.), Handbuch Metaphysik (German). Stuttgart: Metzler.
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  39. Was ist gute Wissenschaft? Philip Kitcher.Marie I. Kaiser - 2020 - In Johannes Müller-Salo (ed.), Analytische Philosophie. Eine Einführung. Paderborn, Deutschland: pp. 111-123.
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  40.  65
    Broadening the Problem Agenda of Biological Individuality: Individual Differences, Uniqueness and Temporality.Rose Trappes & Marie I. Kaiser - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (2):1-28.
    Biological individuality is a notoriously thorny topic for biologists and philosophers of biology. In this paper we argue that biological individuality presents multiple, interconnected questions for biologists and philosophers that together form a problem agenda. Using a case study of an interdisciplinary research group in ecology, behavioral and evolutionary biology, we claim that a debate on biological individuality that seeks to account for diverse practices in the biological sciences should be broadened to include and give prominence to questions about uniqueness (...)
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