Authors
Markus Eronen
University of Groningen
Daniel Stephen Brooks
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Abstract
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 ‘levels’ is best seen in the heuristic contributions the concept makes to treating and structuring scientific problems. We illustrate this with two examples from biological research.
Keywords levels of organization  heuristics
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsc.2018.04.003
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Citations of this work BETA

Typology and Natural Kinds in Evo-Devo.Ingo Brigandt - 2021 - In Laura Nuño De La Rosa & Gerd Müller (eds.), Evolutionary Developmental Biology: A Reference Guide. Cham: Springer. pp. 483-493.
What Are the ‘Levels’ in Levels of Selection?Markus Ilkka Eronen & Grant Ramsey - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
Foregrounding and backgrounding: a new interpretation of “levels” in science.Eric Hochstein - 2022 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 12 (2):1-22.

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