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Summary How are the representations of different subfields of biology, as well as the phenomena represented by them, related to one another? For instance, are ecological or developmental phenomena emergent from molecular processes, or are they ultimately reducible to them? This entry includes work aiming to answer these and related questions.
Key works Kitcher's early piece, "1953 and all that," (Kitcher 1984) on the relationship between classical and molecular genetics is very influential, as is Sober's The Nature of Selection (Sober 1984). On the relationship between developmental biology and molecular biology and evolution, see Rosenberg 2006.
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  1. Abduction and Composition.Ken Aizawa & Drew B. Headley - 2022 - Philosophy of Science 89 (2):268-82.
    Some New Mechanists have proposed that claims of compositional relations are justified by combining the results of top-down and bottom-up interlevel interventions. But what do scientists do when they can perform, say, a cellular intervention, but not a subcellular detection? In such cases, paired interlevel interventions are unavailable. We propose that scientists use abduction and we illustrate its use through a case study of the ionic theory of resting and action potentials.
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  2. Organization Needs Organization: Understanding Integrated Control in Living Organisms.Leonardo Bich & William Bechtel - 2022 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 93:96-106.
    Organization figures centrally in the understanding of biological systems advanced by both new mechanists and proponents of the autonomy framework. The new mechanists focus on how components of mechanisms are organized to produce a phenomenon and emphasize productive continuity between these components. The autonomy framework focuses on how the components of a biological system are organized in such a way that they contribute to the maintenance of the organisms that produce them. In this paper we analyze and compare these two (...)
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  3. Control Mechanisms: Explaining the Integration and Versatility of Biological Organisms.Leonardo Bich & William Bechtel - 2022 - Adaptive Behavior.
    Living organisms act as integrated wholes to maintain themselves. Individual actions can each be explained by characterizing the mechanisms that perform the activity. But these alone do not explain how various activities are coordinated and performed versatilely. We argue that this depends on a specific type of mechanism, a control mechanism. We develop an account of control by examining several extensively studied control mechanisms operative in the bacterium E. coli. On our analysis, what distinguishes a control mechanism from other mechanisms (...)
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  4. Demarcation, Instantiation, and Individual Traits: Realist Social Ontology for Mental Disorders.Polaris Koi - 2021 - Philosophical Psychology:1–21.
    Realists about mental disorder have been hasty about dismissing social explanations of how mental disorder is constituted. However, many social ontologies are realist ontologies. In order to create a meaningful distinction between realism and social metaphysics about mental disorder, I propose that realism about mental disorder is best understood as Individual Trait Realism (ITR) about them. For ITR, mental disorders exist in virtue of traits. I defend the view that ITR is compatible with social metaphysics, arguing that, in asking whether (...)
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  5. Toward Mechanism 2.1: A Dynamic Causal Approach.Wei Fang - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (5):796-809.
    I propose a dynamic causal approach to characterizing the notion of a mechanism. Levy and Bechtel, among others, have pointed out several critical limitations of the new mechanical philosophy, and pointed in a new direction to extend this philosophy. Nevertheless, they have not fully fleshed out what that extended philosophy would look like. Based on a closer look at neuroscientific practice, I propose that a mechanism is a dynamic causal system that involves various components interacting, typically nonlinearly, with one another (...)
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  6. Discovering Patterns: On the Norms of Mechanistic Inquiry.Lena Kästner & Philipp Haueis - forthcoming - Erkenntnis 3:1-26.
    What kinds of norms constrain mechanistic discovery and explanation? In the mechanistic literature, the norms for good explanations are directly derived from answers to the metaphysical question of what explanations are. Prominent mechanistic accounts thus emphasize either ontic or epistemic norms. Still, mechanistic philosophers on both sides agree that there is no sharp distinction between the processes of discovery and explanation. Thus, it seems reasonable to expect that ontic and epistemic accounts of explanation will be accompanied by ontic and epistemic (...)
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  7. Conceptual Roles of Evolvability Across Evolutionary Biology: Between Diversity and Unification.Cristina Villegas, Alan C. Love, Laura Nuño de la Rosa, Ingo Brigandt & Günter P. Wagner - forthcoming - In Thomas Hansen, David Houle, Mihaela Pavličev & Christophe Pélabon (eds.), Evolvability. MIT Press.
    A number of biologists and philosophers have noted the diversity of interpretations of evolvability in contemporary evolutionary research. Different clusters of research defined by co-citation patterns or shared methodological orientation sometimes concentrate on distinct conceptions of evolvability. We examine five different activities where the notion of evolvability plays conceptual roles in evolutionary biological investigation: setting a research agenda, characterization, explanation, prediction, and control. Our analysis of representative examples demonstrates how different conceptual roles of evolvability are quasi-independent and yet exhibit important (...)
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  8. OBO Foundry in 2021: Operationalizing Open Data Principles to Evaluate Ontologies.Rebecca C. Jackson, Nicolas Matentzoglu, James A. Overton, Randi Vita, James P. Balhoff, Pier Luigi Buttigieg, Seth Carbon, Melanie Courtot, Alexander D. Diehl, Damion Dooley, William Duncan, Nomi L. Harris, Melissa A. Haendel, Suzanna E. Lewis, Darren A. Natale, David Osumi-Sutherland, Alan Ruttenberg, Lynn M. Schriml, Barry Smith, Christian J. Stoeckert, Nicole A. Vasilevsky, Ramona L. Walls, Jie Zheng, Christopher J. Mungall & Bjoern Peters - 2021 - BioaRxiv.
    Biological ontologies are used to organize, curate, and interpret the vast quantities of data arising from biological experiments. While this works well when using a single ontology, integrating multiple ontologies can be problematic, as they are developed independently, which can lead to incompatibilities. The Open Biological and Biomedical Ontologies Foundry was created to address this by facilitating the development, harmonization, application, and sharing of ontologies, guided by a set of overarching principles. One challenge in reaching these goals was that the (...)
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  9. Review of "Biological Individuality: Integrating Scientific, Philosophical, and Historical Perspectives", by S. Lidgard and L. K. Nyhart (Eds.).Pierrick Bourrat - 2017 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
  10. The Ups and Downs of Mechanism Realism: Functions, Levels, and Crosscutting Hierarchies.Joe Dewhurst & Alistair M. C. Isaac - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-23.
    Mechanism realists assert the existence of mechanisms as objective structures in the world, but their exact metaphysical commitments are unclear. We introduce Local Hierarchy Realism as a substantive and plausible form of mechanism realism. The limits of LHR reveal a deep tension between two aspects of mechanists’ explanatory strategy. Functional decomposition identifies locally relevant entities and activities, while these same entities and activities are also embedded in a nested hierarchy of levels. In principle, a functional decomposition may identify entities engaging (...)
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  11. Macroevolutionary Issues and Approaches in Evolutionary Biology.Nathalie Gontier & Emanuele Serrelli - 2015 - In Nathalie Gontier & Emanuele Serrelli (eds.), Macroevolution: Explanation, interpretation and Evidence. pp. 1-29.
  12. Plurality of Explanatory Strategies in Biology: Mechanisms and Networks.Alvaro Moreno & Javier Suárez - 2020 - In Methodological Prospects for Scientific Research. pp. 141-165.
    Recent research in philosophy of science has shown that scientists rely on a plurality of strategies to develop successful explanations of different types of phenomena. In the case of biology, most of these strategies go far beyond the traditional and reductionistic models of scientific explanation that have proven so successful in the fundamental sciences. Concretely, in the last two decades, philosophers of science have discovered the existence of at least two different types of scientific explanation at work in the biological (...)
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  13. Reducing Biology.Sun Kyeong Yu - 2008 - Dissertation,
    This dissertation proposes a new working model of reductionism for biology and a new concept of the gene based on the new reduction model. My project aims to help biologists and philosophers understand what reductionism in biology really is, or, should be. Historical debates about reductionism testify us that the classical reduction model, i.e., Ernest Nagel's bridge-law model, offers us neither an appropriate ontological reductionism nor a reductive explanation about biological phenomena. Casting doubts on the received view of the layered (...)
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  14. Constitutive Relevance in Interlevel Experiments.Maria Serban & Sune Holm - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (2):697-725.
    One reason for the popularity of Craver’s mutual manipulability account of constitutive relevance is that it seems to make good sense of the experimental practices and constitutive reasoning in the life sciences. Two recent papers propose a theoretical alternative to in light of several important conceptual objections. Their alternative approach, the no de-coupling account, conceives of constitution as a dependence relation that once postulated provides the best explanation of the impossibility of breaking the common cause coupling of a macro-level mechanism (...)
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  15. The Umwelt of Uexküll and Merleau-Ponty.Agustin Ostachuk - 2013 - Ludus Vitalis 21 (39):45-65.
    The organism against its environment. The organism against other organisms, competing and struggling for life. Antagonism and confrontment as the only possible relation in nature. The tendency to anthropomorphize nature and explain it using concepts and facts from the human sphere. A stroll through the worlds of Uexküll and Merleau-Ponty in the search of alternative knowledge that allow us to understand relation from another point of view. A counterpoint and identification of common tonalities between the research programs from both thinkers (...)
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  16. Diachronic Causal Constitutive Relations.Bert Leuridan & Thomas Lodewyckx - 2020 - Synthese (9):1-31.
    Mechanistic approaches are very common in the causal interpretation of biological and neuroscientific experimental work in today’s philosophy of science. In the mechanistic literature a strict distinction is often made between causal relations and constitutive relations, where the latter cannot be causal. One of the typical reasons for this strict distinction is that constitutive relations are supposedly synchronic whereas most if not all causal relations are diachronic. This strict distinction gives rise to a number of problems, however. Our end goal (...)
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  17. Life: the Center of our Existence.Agustin Ostachuk - 2018 - Ludus Vitalis 26 (50):257-260.
    Life is the center of our existence. One would be tempted to say that first of all we live. However, our existence does not seem to pass in that modality. The exacerbated materialism in which our existence takes place, displaces life from the center of the scene. Our society is organized around production, consumerism, exploitation, efficiency, trade and propaganda. That is to say, our existence seems to have economy as the center of organization of our activities. The struggle of this (...)
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  18. Unifying the Essential Concepts of Biological Networks: Biological Insights and Philosophical Foundations.Daniel Kostic, Claus Hilgetag & Marc Tittgemeyer - forthcoming - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.
    Over the last decades, network-based approaches have become highly popular in diverse fields of biology, including neuroscience, ecology, molecular biology and genetics. While these approaches continue to grow very rapidly, some of their conceptual and methodological aspects still require a programmatic foundation. This challenge particularly concerns the question of whether a generalized account of explanatory, organisational and descriptive levels of networks can be applied universally across biological sciences. To this end, this highly interdisciplinary theme issue focuses on the definition, motivation (...)
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  19. Levels of Organization in the Biological Sciences.Daniel Stephen Brooks, James DiFrisco & William C. Wimsatt (eds.) - 2021 - MIT Press.
    The subject of this edited volume is the idea of levels of organization: roughly, the idea that the natural world is segregated into part-whole relationships of increasing spatiotemporal scale and complexity. The book comprises a collection of essays that raise the idea of levels into its own topic of analysis. Owing to the wide prominence of the idea of levels, the scope of the volume is aimed at theoreticians, philosophers, and practicing researchers of all stripes in the life sciences. The (...)
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  20. A New Look at ‘Levels of Organization’ in Biology.Daniel S. Brooks - 2019 - Erkenntnis 2019 (6).
    Despite its pervasiveness, the concept of ‘levels of organization’ has received relatively little attention in its own right. I propose here an emerging approach that posits ‘levels’ as a fragmentary concept situated within an interest-relative matrix of operational usage within scientific practice. To this end I propose one important component of meaning, namely the epistemic goal motivating the term’s usage, which recovers a remarkably conserved and sufficiently unifying significance attributable to ‘levels’ across different instances of usage. This epistemic goal, to (...)
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  21. Making Sense of Downward Causation in Manipulationism. Illustrations From Cancer Research.Christophe Malaterre - 2011 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 4 (33):537-562.
    Many researchers consider cancer to have molecular causes, namely mutated genes that result in abnormal cell proliferation (e.g. Weinberg 1998); yet for others, the causes of cancer are to be found not at the molecular level but at the tissue level and carcinogenesis would consist in a disrupted tissue organization with downward causation effects on cells and cellular components (e.g. Sonnenschein & Soto 2008). In this contribution, I ponder how to make sense of such downward causation claims. Adopting a manipulationist (...)
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  22. Beeing & Time: Kiss of Chemoreception & the Bug in Dasein's Mouth.Virgil W. Brower - 2014 - In Laurence Talairach-Vielmas & Marie Bouchet (eds.), Insects in Literature & the Arts. Brussels, Belgium: pp. 197-217.
    "Brower explores the way philosophers were inspired by entomological social systems and communication to reflect on human psyche, social behavior, community organization, communication, and inter-individual relationships. His essay rehearses the swarms of insects embedded in contemporary philosophy and literary theory, not only showing how many of the major concepts (or philosophemes) in continental philosophy – sexuality, politics, thinking, time, interdependence, and language – draw lessons from the world of insects, but also illustrating again how the insect world spurred human reflection.".
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  23. The Causal Situationist Account of Constitutive Relevance.Emily Prychitko - 2019 - Synthese 198 (2):1829-1843.
    An epistemic account of constitutive relevance lists the criteria by which scientists can identify the components of mechanisms in empirical practice. Three prominent claims from Craver form a promising basis for an account. First, constitutive relevance is established by means of interlevel experiments. Second, interlevel experiments are executions of interventions. Third, there is no interlevel causation between a mechanism and its components. Currently, no account on offer respects all three claims. I offer my causal situationist account of constitutive relevance that (...)
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  24. From Seconds to Eons: Time Scales, Hierarchies, and Processes in Evo-Devo.Jan Baedke & Siobhan F. Mc Manus - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 72:38-48.
    This paper addresses the role of time scales in conceptualizing biological hierarchies. So far, the concept of hierarchies in philosophy of science has been dominated by the idea of composition and parthood, respectively. However, this view does not exhaust the diversity of hierarchical descriptions in the biosciences. Therefore, we highlight a type of hierarchy usually overlooked by philosophers of science. It distinguishes processes based on the different time scales (i.e. rates, frequencies, and rhythms) on which they occur. These time scale (...)
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  25. The Origin of Species by Means of Mathematical Modelling.Nikolai Bessonov, Natalia Reinberg, Malay Banerjee & Vitaly Volpert - 2018 - Acta Biotheoretica 66 (4):333-344.
    Darwin described biological species as groups of morphologically similar individuals. These groups of individuals can split into several subgroups due to natural selection, resulting in the emergence of new species. Some species can stay stable without the appearance of a new species, some others can disappear or evolve. Some of these evolutionary patterns were described in our previous works independently of each other. In this work we have developed a single model which allows us to reproduce the principal patterns in (...)
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  26. The Significance of Levels of Organization for Scientific Research: A Heuristic Approach.Daniel S. Brooks & Markus I. Eronen - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 68:34-41.
    The concept of 'levels of organization' has come under fire recently as being useless for scientific and philosophical purposes. In this paper, we show that 'levels' is actually a remarkably resilient and constructive conceptual tool that can be, and in fact is, used for a variety of purposes. To this effect, we articulate an account of the importance of the levels concept seen in light of its status as a major organizing concept of biology. We argue that the usefulness of (...)
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  27. Note on the Individuation of Biological Traits.Mihnea D. I. Capraru - 2018 - Journal of Philosophy 115 (4):215-221.
    Bence Nanay has argued that we must abandon the etiological theory of teleological function because this theory explains functions and functional categories in a circular manner. Paul Griffiths argued earlier that we should retain the etiological theory and instead prevent the circularity by making etiologies independent of functional categories. Karen Neander and Alex Rosenberg reply to Nanay similarly, and argue that we should analyze functions in terms of natural selection acting not on functional categories, but merely on lineages. Nanay replies (...)
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  28. Error Management, Reliability and Cognitive Evolution.Bengt Autzen - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (6):935-950.
    The paper offers a partial vindication of Sterelny’s view on the role of error rates and reliability in his theory of decoupled representation based on modelling techniques borrowed from the biological literature on evolution in stochastic environments. In the case of a tight link between tracking states and behaviour, I argue that in its full generality Sterelny’s account instantiates the base-rate fallacy. With regard to non-tightly linked behaviour, I show that Sterelny’s account can be vindicated subject to an adequate evolutionary (...)
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  29. On Interdisciplinary and Such.Leigh M. Van Valen - 1996 - Biology and Philosophy 11 (2):255-257.
  30. The Life of the Cortical Column: Opening the Domain of Functional Architecture of the Cortex.Haueis Philipp - 2016 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 38 (3).
    The concept of the cortical column refers to vertical cell bands with similar response properties, which were initially observed by Vernon Mountcastle’s mapping of single cell recordings in the cat somatic cortex. It has subsequently guided over 50 years of neuroscientific research, in which fundamental questions about the modularity of the cortex and basic principles of sensory information processing were empirically investigated. Nevertheless, the status of the column remains controversial today, as skeptical commentators proclaim that the vertical cell bands are (...)
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  31. An Improved Ontological Representation of Dendritic Cells as a Paradigm for All Cell Types.Masci Anna Maria, N. Arighi Cecilia, D. Diehl Alexander, E. Lieberman Anne, Mungall Chris, H. Scheuermann Richard, Barry Smith & G. Cowell Lindsay - 2009 - BMC Bioinformatics 10 (1):70.
    The Cell Ontology (CL) is designed to provide a standardized representation of cell types for data annotation. Currently, the CL employs multiple is_a relations, defining cell types in terms of histological, functional, and lineage properties, and the majority of definitions are written with sufficient generality to hold across multiple species. This approach limits the CL’s utility for cross-species data integration. To address this problem, we developed a method for the ontological representation of cells and applied this method to develop a (...)
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  32. Extended Mechanistic Explanations: Expanding the Current Mechanistic Conception to Include More Complex Biological Systems.Sarah M. Roe & Bert Baumgaertner - 2017 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 48 (4):517-534.
    Mechanistic accounts of explanation have recently found popularity within philosophy of science. Presently, we introduce the idea of an extended mechanistic explanation, which makes explicit room for the role of environment in explanation. After delineating Craver and Bechtel’s account, we argue this suggestion is not sufficiently robust when we take seriously the mechanistic environment and modeling practices involved in studying contemporary complex biological systems. Our goal is to extend the already profitable mechanistic picture by pointing out the importance of the (...)
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  33. Mechanistic Levels, Reduction, and Emergence.Mark Povich & Carl F. Craver - 2017 - In Stuart Glennan & Phyllis McKay Illari (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Mechanisms and Mechanical Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 185-97.
    We sketch the mechanistic approach to levels, contrast it with other senses of “level,” and explore some of its metaphysical implications. This perspective allows us to articulate what it means for things to be at different levels, to distinguish mechanistic levels from realization relations, and to describe the structure of multilevel explanations, the evidence by which they are evaluated, and the scientific unity that results from them. This approach is not intended to solve all metaphysical problems surrounding physicalism. Yet it (...)
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  34. Differentiating and Defusing Theoretical Ecology's Criticisms: A Rejoinder to Sagoff's Reply to Donhauser (2016).Justin Donhauser - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 63:70-79.
    In a (2016) paper in this journal, I defuse allegations that theoretical ecological research is problematic because it relies on teleological metaphysical assumptions. Mark Sagoff offers a formal reply. In it, he concedes that I succeeded in establishing that ecologists abandoned robust teleological views long ago and that they use teleological characterizations as metaphors that aid in developing mechanistic explanations of ecological phenomena. Yet, he contends that I did not give enduring criticisms of theoretical ecology a fair shake in my (...)
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  35. Is a Unified Science of the Mind-Brain Possible? A Review of Patricia Smith Churchland, "Neurophilosophy: Toward a Unified Science of the Mind/Brain". [REVIEW]John Bishop - 1988 - Biology and Philosophy 3 (3):375.
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  36. Explanation: A Mechanist Alternative.William Bechtel & Adele Abrahamsen - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (2):421-441.
    Explanations in the life sciences frequently involve presenting a model of the mechanism taken to be responsible for a given phenomenon. Such explanations depart in numerous ways from nomological explanations commonly presented in philosophy of science. This paper focuses on three sorts of differences. First, scientists who develop mechanistic explanations are not limited to linguistic representations and logical inference; they frequently employ diagrams to characterize mechanisms and simulations to reason about them. Thus, the epistemic resources for presenting mechanistic explanations are (...)
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  37. On Margitay’s Notion of Reduction by Definition.Gergely Kertész - 2012 - Tradition and Discovery 39 (2):16-21.
    In a recent article “From Epistemology to Ontology,” Tihamer Margitay argues, in addition to other things, that the ontological arguments Polanyi provided for his ontological realism with respect to the levels of reality are insufficient. Although Margitay shows this correctly in the case of arguments from boundary conditions, his arguments are not that convincing against the unidentifyability thesis, the thesis that entity kinds on higher levels cannot be identified with descriptions given on lower levels. I argue that here Polányi relies (...)
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  38. Constitutive Explanatory Relevance.Carl Craver - 2007 - Journal of Philosophical Research 32:3-20.
    In what sense are the activities and properties of components in a mechanism explanatorily relevant to the behavior of a mechanism as a whole? I articulate this problem, the problem of constitutive relevance, and I show that it must be solved if we are to understand mechanisms and mechanistic explanation. I argue against some putative solutions to the problem of constitutive relevance, and I sketch a positive account according to which relevance is analyzed in terms ofrelationships of mutual manipulability between (...)
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  39. Transcending the Emergence/Reduction Distinction: The Case of Biology.Rom Harré - 2005 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 56:1-2.
    The groups of problems that fall under the titles ‘reduction’ and ‘emergence’ appear at the boundaries of seemingly independent and well-established scientific disciplines, such as chemistry and biology, biology and psychology, biology and political theory, and so on. They arise in this way.
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  40. Symposium: Are Physical, Biological and Psychological Categories Irreducible?J. S. Haldane, D'Arcy W. Thompson, P. Chalmers Mitchell & L. T. Hobhouse - 1918 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 1 (1):11-74.
  41. XVIII.—Symposium: Are Physical, Biological and Psychological Categories Irreducible?J. S. Haldane, D'Arcy W. Thompson, P. Chalmers Mitchell & L. T. Hobhouse - 1918 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 18 (1):419-478.
  42. SMT and TOFT: Why and How They Are Opposite and Incompatible Paradigms.Mariano Bizzarri & Alessandra Cucina - 2016 - Acta Biotheoretica 64 (3):221-239.
    The Somatic Mutation Theory has been challenged on its fundamentals by the Tissue Organization Field Theory of Carcinogenesis. However, a recent publication has questioned whether TOFT could be a valid alternative theory of carcinogenesis to that presented by SMT. Herein we critically review arguments supporting the irreducible opposition between the two theoretical approaches by highlighting differences regarding the philosophical, methodological and experimental approaches on which they respectively rely. We conclude that SMT has not explained carcinogenesis due to severe epistemological and (...)
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  43. Bodily Parts in the Structure-Function Dialectic.Ingo Brigandt - 2017 - In Scott Lidgard & Lynn K. Nyhart (eds.), Biological Individuality: Integrating Scientific, Philosophical, and Historical Perspectives. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. pp. 249–274.
    Understanding the organization of an organism by individuating meaningful parts and accounting for organismal properties by studying the interaction of bodily parts is a central practice in many areas of biology. While structures are obvious bodily parts and structure and function have often been seen as antagonistic principles in the study of organismal organization, my tenet is that structures and functions are on a par. I articulate a notion of function (functions as activities), according to which functions are bodily parts (...)
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  44. Programming the Emergence in Morphogenetically Architected Complex Systems.Angélique Stéphanou & Nicolas Glade - 2015 - Acta Biotheoretica 63 (3):295-308.
    Large sets of elements interacting locally and producing specific architectures reliably form a category that transcends the usual dividing line between biological and engineered systems. We propose to call them morphogenetically architected complex systems. While taking the emergence of properties seriously, the notion of MACS enables at the same time the design of operational means that allow controlling and even, paradoxically, programming this emergence. To demonstrate our claim, we first show that among all the self-organized systems studied in the field (...)
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  45. Relations Among Fields: Mendelian, Cytological and Molecular Mechanisms.Lindley Darden - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (2):349-371.
    Philosophers have proposed various kinds of relations between Mendelian genetics and molecular biology: reduction, replacement, explanatory extension. This paper argues that the two fields are best characterized as investigating different, serially integrated, hereditary mechanisms. The mechanisms operate at different times and contain different working entities. The working entities of the mechanisms of Mendelian heredity are chromosomes, whose movements serve to segregate alleles and independently assort genes in different linkage groups. The working entities of numerous mechanisms of molecular biology are larger (...)
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  46. Interlevel Relations and Manipulative Causality.Gero Schwenk - 2006 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 37 (1):99-110.
    The topic of this article is the analysis of the relations between different levels of reality. The core argument is based on considerations of both an epistemology of action and manipulative causality as a criterion of object identity. The argumentation is extended towards the concepts of self-organization and self-regulation. Finally, several views on reduction and the problems of emergence and complexity are discussed.
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  47. Simulation informatique et pluriformalisation des objets composites.Franck Varenne - 2009 - Philosophia Scientae 13:135-154.
    A recent evolution of computer simulations has led to the emergence of complex computer simulations. In particular, the need to formalize composite objects (those objects that are composed of other objects) has led to what the author suggests calling pluriformalizations, i.e. formalizations that are based on distinct sub-models which are expressed in a variety of heterogeneous symbolic languages. With the help of four case-studies, he shows that such pluriformalizations enable to formalize distinctly but simultaneously either different aspects or different parts (...)
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  48. Interlevel Experiments and Multilevel Mechanisms in the Neuroscience of Memory.Carl F. Craver - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (S3):S83-S97.
    The dominant neuroscientific theory of spatial memory is, like many theories in neuroscience, a multilevel description of a mechanism. The theory links the activities of molecules, cells, brain regions, and whole organisms into an integrated sketch of an explanation for the ability of organisms to navigate novel environments. Here I develop a taxonomy of interlevel experimental strategies for integrating the levels in such multilevel mechanisms. These experimental strategies include activation strategies, interference strategies, and additive strategies. These strategies are mutually reinforcing, (...)
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  49. Unifying Biology: The Evolutionary Synthesis and Evolutionary Biology.V. B. Smocovitis - 1992 - Journal of the History of Biology 25 (1):1-65.
  50. Wendell Stanley's Dream of a Free-Standing Biochemistry Department at the University of California, Berkeley.Angela N. H. Creager - 1996 - Journal of the History of Biology 29 (3):331-360.
    Scientists and historians have often presumed that the divide between biochemistry and molecular biology is fundamentally epistemological.100 The historiography of molecular biology as promulgated by Max Delbrück's phage disciples similarly emphasizes inherent differences between the archaic tradition of biochemistry and the approach of phage geneticists, the ur molecular biologists. A historical analysis of the development of both disciplines at Berkeley mitigates against accepting predestined differences, and underscores the similarities between the postwar development of biochemistry and the emergence of molecular biology (...)
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