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Melinda Bonnie Fagan
University of Utah
  1.  96
    Is There Collective Scientific Knowledge? Arguments From Explanation.Melinda Bonnie Fagan - 2011 - Philosophical Quarterly 61 (243):247-269.
    If there is collective scientific knowledge, then at least some scientific groups have beliefs over and above the personal beliefs of their members. Gilbert's plural-subjects theory makes precise the notion of ‘over and above’ here. Some philosophers have used plural-subjects theory to argue that philosophical, historical and sociological studies of science should take account of collective beliefs of scientific groups. Their claims rest on the premise that our best explanations of scientific change include these collective beliefs. I argue that Gilbert's (...)
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  2.  56
    Stem Cell Lineages: Between Cell and Organism.Melinda Bonnie Fagan - 2017 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 9 (6).
    Ontologies of living things are increasingly grounded on the concepts and practices of current life science. Biological development is a process, undergone by living things, which begins with a single cell and (in an important class of cases) ends with formation of a multicellular organism. The process of development is thus prima facie central for ideas about biological individuality and organismality. However, recent accounts of these concepts do not engage developmental biology. This paper aims to fill the gap, proposing the (...)
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  3.  21
    Stems and Standards: Social Interaction in the Search for Blood Stem Cells.Melinda Bonnie Fagan - 2010 - Journal of the History of Biology 43 (1):67 - 109.
    This essay examines the role of social interactions in the search for blood stem cells, in a recent episode of biomedical research. Linked to mid-20th century cell biology, genetics and radiation research, the search for blood stem cells coalesced in the 1960s and took a developmental turn in the late 1980s, with significant ramifications for immunology, stem cell and cancer biology. Like much contemporary biomedical research, this line of inquiry exhibits a complex social structure and includes several prominent scientific successes, (...)
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  4.  25
    Stem Cells and Systems Models: Clashing Views of Explanation.Melinda Bonnie Fagan - 2016 - Synthese 193 (3):873-907.
    This paper examines a case of failed interdisciplinary collaboration, between experimental stem cell research and theoretical systems biology. Recently, two groups of theoretical biologists have proposed dynamical systems models as a basis for understanding stem cells and their distinctive capacities. Experimental stem cell biologists, whose work focuses on manipulation of concrete cells, tissues and organisms, have largely ignored these proposals. I argue that ‘failure to communicate’ in this case is rooted in divergent views of explanation: the theoretically-inclined modelers are committed (...)
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  5.  33
    The Stem Cell Uncertainty Principle.Melinda Bonnie Fagan - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (5):945-957.
    Stem cells are defined as having capacities for both self-renewal and differentiation. Many different entities satisfy this working definition. I show that this general stem cell concept is relative to a cell lineage, temporal duration, and characters of interest. Experiments specify values for these variables. So claims about stem cells must be understood in terms of experimental methods used to identify them. Furthermore, the stem cell concept imposes evidential constraints on interpretation of experimental results. From these constraints, it follows that (...)
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  6.  24
    Collaborative Explanation and Biological Mechanisms.Melinda Bonnie Fagan - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 52:67-78.
  7.  3
    Epigenetic Lacunae.Melinda Bonnie Fagan - 2018 - History of the Human Sciences 31 (1):109-115.
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  8.  33
    Philosophy of Stem Cell Biology – an Introduction.Melinda Bonnie Fagan - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (12):1147-1158.
    This review surveys three central issues in philosophy of stem cell biology: the nature of stem cells, stem cell experiments, and explanations of stem cell capacities. First, I argue that the fundamental question ‘what is a stem cell?’ has no single substantive answer. Instead, the core idea is explicated via an abstract model, which accounts for many features of stem cell experiments. The second part of this essay examines several of these features: uncertainty, model organisms, and manipulability. The results shed (...)
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  9.  39
    Crucial Stem Cell Experiments? Stem Cells, Uncertainty, and Single-Cell Experiments.Melinda Bonnie Fagan - 2015 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 30 (2):183-205.
    I have previously argued that stem cell experiments cannot demonstrate that a single cell is a stem cell. Laplane and others dispute this claim, citing experiments that identify stem cells at the singlecell level. This paper rebuts the counterexample, arguing that the alleged ‘crucial stem cell experiments’ do not measure self-renewal for a single cell, do not establish a single cell’s differentiation potential, and, if interpreted as providing results about single cells, fall into epistemic circularity. I then discuss the source (...)
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  10.  5
    Explanation, Multiple Perspectives, and Understanding.Melinda Bonnie Fagan - 2017 - Balkan Journal of Philosophy 9 (1):19-34.
    Science is increasingly interdisciplinary, as evidenced by empirical measures, funding initiatives, and the rise of integrative fields such as systems biology and cognitive neuroscience. In this paper, I motivate and outline an account of explanation for interdisciplinary contexts, building on recent debates about scientific perspectivism. Insights from these debates yield an inclusive list of relations between models constructed from different perspectives, which I then refine and generalize into a simple taxonomy. Within this taxonomy of relations among models, I identify the (...)
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  11.  10
    Generative Models: Human Embryonic Stem Cells and Multiple Modeling Relations.Melinda Bonnie Fagan - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 56:122-134.
  12.  33
    Review of Heather E. Douglas, Science, Policy, and the Value-Free Ideal[REVIEW]Melinda Bonnie Fagan - 2009 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2009 (12).
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  13.  2
    Interventionist Omissions: A Critical Case Study of Mechanistic Explanation in Biology.Melinda Bonnie Fagan - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (5):1082-1097.
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  14.  11
    Human Experiments: Waves and Rifts in Synthetic Biology. [REVIEW]Melinda Bonnie Fagan - 2013 - Metascience 22 (2):371-374.
  15.  8
    Review of Steve Fuller, Science[REVIEW]Melinda Bonnie Fagan - 2011 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2011 (2).
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