Biology and Philosophy 19 (1):75-91 (2004)

Authors
Greg Frost-Arnold
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Abstract
Alexander Rosenberg recently claimed (1997) that developmental biology is currently being reduced to molecular biology. cite several concrete biological examples that are intended to impugn Rosenberg's claim. I first argue that although Laubichler and Wagner's examples would refute a very strong reductionism, a more moderate reductionism would escape their attacks. Next, taking my cue from the antireductionist's perennial stress on the importance of spatial organization, I describe one form an empirical finding that refutes this moderate reductionism would take. Finally, I point out an actual example, anterior-posterior axis determination in the chick, that challenges the reductionist's belief that all developmental regularities can be explained by molecular biology. In short, I argue that Rosenberg's position can be saved from Laubichler and Wagner's criticisms and putative counter-examples, but it would not survive a different kind of counter-example.
Keywords Developmental biology  Molecular biology  Reductionism
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DOI 10.1023/B:BIPH.0000013291.43498.1f
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References found in this work BETA

The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.
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Citations of this work BETA

The Varieties of Molecular Explanation.Marco J. Nathan - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (2):233-254.
Philosophical Issues in Experimental Biology.Ingo Brigandt - 2006 - Biology and Philosophy 21 (3):423–435.

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