Genes: Philosophical Analyses Put to the Test

History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 26 (1):5-28 (2004)
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This paper describes one complete and one ongoing empirical study in which philosophical analyses of the concept of the gene were operationalized and tested against questionnaire data obtained from working biologists to determine whether and when biologists conceive genes in the ways suggested. These studies throw light on how different gene concepts contribute to biological research. Their aim is not to arrive at one or more correct 'definitions' of the gene, but rather to map out the variation in the gene concept and to explore its causes and its effects



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Paul Edmund Griffiths
University of Sydney

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