Normality as a biological concept

Philosophy of Science 61 (4):579-591 (1994)
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Abstract

The biological sciences employ a concept of normality that must be distinguished from statistical or value concepts. The concept of normality is presupposed in the standard explications of biological functions, and it is crucial to the strategy of explanation by approximations in, for example, physiology. Nevertheless, this concept of normality does not seem to be captured in the language of physics. Thus attempts at explaining the methodological relationship between the biological sciences and the physical sciences by concentrating only on the concept of biological function cannot go very far. An analysis of the concept of normality is also necessary

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Citations of this work

The Ontic Account of Scientific Explanation.Carl F. Craver - 2014 - In Marie I. Kaiser, Oliver R. Scholz, Daniel Plenge & Andreas Hüttemann (eds.), Explanation in the Special Sciences: The Case of Biology and History. Springer Verlag. pp. 27-52.
A Second Rebuttal On Health.Christopher Boorse - 2014 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 39 (6):683-724.
Defining 'health' and 'disease'.Mark Ereshefsky - 2009 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 40 (3):221-227.
Against normal function.Ron Amundson - 2000 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 31 (1):33-53.

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References found in this work

Functional analysis.Robert Cummins - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (November):741-64.
Health as a theoretical concept.Christopher Boorse - 1977 - Philosophy of Science 44 (4):542-573.
Evolution, population thinking, and essentialism.Elliott Sober - 1980 - Philosophy of Science 47 (3):350-383.
Functions.John Bigelow & Robert Pargetter - 1987 - Journal of Philosophy 84 (4):181-196.

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