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Biological Complexity and Integrative Pluralism

Biological Complexity and Integrative Pluralism Author Sandra D. Mitchell
ISBN-10 0521520797
Release 2003-09-15
Pages 244
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These essays by a leading philosopher of science present a defence of integrative pluralism.



Philosophy of Cancer

Philosophy of Cancer Author Marta Bertolaso
ISBN-10 9789402408652
Release 2016-08-24
Pages 190
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Since the 1970s, the origin of cancer is being explored from the point of view of the Somatic Mutation Theory (SMT), focusing on genetic mutations and clonal expansion of somatic cells. As cancer research expanded in several directions, the dominant focus on cells remained steady, but the classes of genes and the kinds of extra-genetic factors that were shown to have causal relevance in the onset of cancer multiplied. The wild heterogeneity of cancer-related mutations and phenotypes, along with the increasing complication of models, led to an oscillation between the hectic search of ‘the’ few key factors that cause cancer and the discouragement in face of a seeming ‘endless complexity’. To tame this complexity, cancer research started to avail itself of the tools that were being developed by Systems Biology. At the same time, anti-reductionist voices began claiming that cancer research was stuck in a sterile research paradigm. This alternative discourse even gave birth to an alternative theory: the Tissue Organization Field Theory (TOFT). A deeper philosophical analysis shows limits and possibilities of reductionist and anti-reductionist positions and of their polarization. This book demonstrates that a radical philosophical reflection is necessary to drive cancer research out of its impasses. At the very least, this will be a reflection on the assumptions of different kinds of cancer research, on the implications of what cancer research has been discovering over 40 years and more, on a view of scientific practice that is most able to make sense of the cognitive and social conflicts that are seen in the scientific community (and in its results), and, finally, on the nature of living entities with which we entertain this fascinating epistemological dance that we call scientific research. The proposed Dynamic and Relational View of carcinogenesis is a starting point in all these directions.



Idealization and the Aims of Science

Idealization and the Aims of Science Author Angela Potochnik
ISBN-10 9780226507057
Release 2017-11-17
Pages 288
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This book explores the centrality of idealization to science and reconsiders the aims of science in light of it. Idealizations are assumptions made without regard for whether they are true--that a plane is frictionless, for example, or that humans are perfectly rational agents. Idealizations of all kinds pervade science and are often made with full knowledge that they are false. Moreover, it is uncommon for scientists to try to replace them with more accurate assumptions. Why do scientists deliberately maintain idealizations in their theories and models? What do they contribute to science? Angela Potochnik shows how a science practiced by human beings in a complex world results in rampant and unchecked idealization and argues that the full scope of the use of idealizations has significant implications for our best theories of what science shows us about the world, and of scientific explanations specifically. Her clear analysis will be welcomed by anyone curious about the nature of science.



Reductive Explanation in the Biological Sciences

Reductive Explanation in the Biological Sciences Author Marie I. Kaiser
ISBN-10 9783319253107
Release 2015-12-16
Pages 277
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This book develops a philosophical account that reveals the major characteristics that make an explanation in the life sciences reductive and distinguish them from non-reductive explanations. Understanding what reductive explanations are enables one to assess the conditions under which reductive explanations are adequate and thus enhances debates about explanatory reductionism. The account of reductive explanation presented in this book has three major characteristics. First, it emerges from a critical reconstruction of the explanatory practice of the life sciences itself. Second, the account is monistic since it specifies one set of criteria that apply to explanations in the life sciences in general. Finally, the account is ontic in that it traces the reductivity of an explanation back to certain relations that exist between objects in the world (such as part-whole relations and level relations), rather than to the logical relations between sentences. Beginning with a disclosure of the meta-philosophical assumptions that underlie the author’s analysis of reductive explanation, the book leads into the debate about reduction(ism) in the philosophy of biology and continues with a discussion on the two perspectives on explanatory reduction that have been proposed in the philosophy of biology so far. The author scrutinizes how the issue of reduction becomes entangled with explanation and analyzes two concepts, the concept of a biological part and the concept of a level of organization. The results of these five chapters constitute the ground on which the author bases her final chapter, developing her ontic account of reductive explanation.



Philosophy and Biodiversity

Philosophy and Biodiversity Author Markku Oksanen
ISBN-10 1139455494
Release 2004-09-06
Pages
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This important collection focuses on the nature and importance of biodiversity. The concept is clarified and its intrinsic and instrumental value are discussed. Even though the term biodiversity was invented in the 1980s to promote the cause of species conservation, discussions on biological diversity go back to Plato. There are many controversies surrounding biodiversity and a few of them are examined here: What is worthy of protection or restoration and what is the acceptable level of costs? Is it permissible to kill sentient animals to promote native populations? Can species be reintroduced if they have disappeared a long time ago? How should the responsibilities for biodiversity be shared? This book will be of interest to philosophers of science and biologists, but also to anyone interested in conservation and the environment.



Mechanism and Causality in Biology and Economics

Mechanism and Causality in Biology and Economics Author Hsiang-Ke Chao
ISBN-10 9789400724549
Release 2013-07-31
Pages 256
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This volume addresses fundamental issues in the philosophy of science in the context of two most intriguing fields: biology and economics. Written by authorities and experts in the philosophy of biology and economics, Mechanism and Causality in Biology and Economics provides a structured study of the concepts of mechanism and causality in these disciplines and draws careful juxtapositions between philosophical apparatus and scientific practice. By exploring the issues that are most salient to the contemporary philosophies of biology and economics and by presenting comparative analyses, the book serves as a platform not only for gaining mutual understanding between scientists and philosophers of the life sciences and those of the social sciences, but also for sharing interdisciplinary research that combines both philosophical concepts in both fields. The book begins by defining the concepts of mechanism and causality in biology and economics, respectively. The second and third parts investigate philosophical perspectives of various causal and mechanistic issues in scientific practice in the two fields. These two sections include chapters on causal issues in the theory of evolution; experiments and scientific discovery; representation of causal relations and mechanism by models in economics. The concluding section presents interdisciplinary studies of various topics concerning extrapolation of life sciences and social sciences, including chapters on the philosophical investigation of conjoining biological and economic analyses with, respectively, demography, medicine and sociology.



Philosophy of Molecular Medicine

Philosophy of Molecular Medicine Author Giovanni Boniolo
ISBN-10 9781317378341
Release 2016-11-18
Pages 288
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Philosophy of Molecular Medicine: Foundational Issues in Theory and Practice aims at a systematic investigation of a number of foundational issues in the field of molecular medicine. The volume is organized around four broad modules focusing, respectively, on the following key aspects: What are the nature, scope, and limits of molecular medicine? How does it provide explanations? How does it represent and model phenomena of interest? How does it infer new knowledge from data and experiments? The essays collected here, authored by prominent scientists and philosophers of science, focus on a handful of mainstream topics in the philosophical literature, such as causation, explanation, modeling, and scientific inference. These previously unpublished contributions shed new light on these traditional topics by integrating them with problems, methods, and results from three prominent areas of contemporary biomedical science: basic research, translational and clinical research, and clinical practice.



Special Sciences and the Unity of Science

Special Sciences and the Unity of Science Author Olga Pombo
ISBN-10 9789400720299
Release 2012-02-01
Pages 302
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Science is a dynamic process in which the assimilation of new phenomena, perspectives, and hypotheses into the scientific corpus takes place slowly. The apparent disunity of the sciences is the unavoidable consequence of this gradual integration process. Some thinkers label this dynamical circumstance a ‘crisis’. However, a retrospective view of the practical results of the scientific enterprise and of science itself, grants us a clear view of the unity of the human knowledge seeking enterprise. This book provides many arguments, case studies and examples in favor of the unity of science. These contributions touch upon various scientific perspectives and disciplines such as: Physics, Computer Science, Biology, Neuroscience, Cognitive Psychology, and Economics.



Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association

Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association Author American Philosophical Association
ISBN-10 UOM:39015062073500
Release 2003
Pages
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Philosophy of Experimental Biology

Philosophy of Experimental Biology Author Marcel Weber
ISBN-10 1139453912
Release 2004-08-30
Pages
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Philosophy of Experimental Biology explores some central philosophical issues concerning scientific research in experimental biology, including genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology, developmental biology, neurobiology, and microbiology. It seeks to make sense of the explanatory strategies, concepts, ways of reasoning, approaches to discovery and problem solving, tools, models and experimental systems deployed by scientific life science researchers and also integrates developments in historical scholarship, in particular the New Experimentalism. It concludes that historical explanations of scientific change that are based on local laboratory practice need to be supplemented with an account of the epistemic norms and standards that are operative in science. This book should be of interest to philosophers and historians of science as well as to scientists.



Evolution explanation and unity of science

Evolution  explanation  and unity of science Author Angela Potochnik
ISBN-10 STANFORD:36105129644220
Release 2007
Pages 199
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Evolution explanation and unity of science has been writing in one form or another for most of life. You can find so many inspiration from Evolution explanation and unity of science also informative, and entertaining. Click DOWNLOAD or Read Online button to get full Evolution explanation and unity of science book for free.



Unsimple Truths

Unsimple Truths Author Sandra D. Mitchell
ISBN-10 9780226532653
Release 2009-12-15
Pages 160
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The world is complex, but acknowledging its complexity requires an appreciation for the many roles context plays in shaping natural phenomena. In Unsimple Truths, Sandra Mitchell argues that the long-standing scientific and philosophical deference to reductive explanations founded on simple universal laws, linear causal models, and predict-and-act strategies fails to accommodate the kinds of knowledge that many contemporary sciences are providing about the world. She advocates, instead, for a new understanding that represents the rich, variegated, interdependent fabric of many levels and kinds of explanation that are integrated with one another to ground effective prediction and action. Mitchell draws from diverse fields including psychiatry, social insect biology, and studies of climate change to defend “integrative pluralism”—a theory of scientific practices that makes sense of how many natural and social sciences represent the multi-level, multi-component, dynamic structures they study. She explains how we must, in light of the now-acknowledged complexity and contingency of biological and social systems, revise how we conceptualize the world, how we investigate the world, and how we act in the world. Ultimately Unsimple Truths argues that the very idea of what should count as legitimate science itself should change.



Reasoning in Biological Discoveries

Reasoning in Biological Discoveries Author Lindley Darden
ISBN-10 1139458612
Release 2006-06-26
Pages
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Reasoning in Biological Discoveries brings together a series of essays, which focus on one of the most heavily debated topics of scientific discovery. Collected together and richly illustrated, Darden's essays represent a groundbreaking foray into one of the major problems facing scientists and philosophers of science. Divided into three sections, the essays focus on broad themes, notably historical and philosophical issues at play in discussions of biological mechanism; and the problem of developing and refining reasoning strategies, including interfield relations and anomaly resolution. Darden summarizes the philosophy of discovery and elaborates on the role that mechanisms play in biological discovery. Throughout the book, she uses historical case studies to extract advisory reasoning strategies for discovery. Examples in genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, immunology, neuroscience and evolutionary biology reveal the process of discovery in action.



Information and Meaning in Evolutionary Processes

Information and Meaning in Evolutionary Processes Author William F. Harms
ISBN-10 1139451626
Release 2004-04-26
Pages
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This book is intended to help transform epistemology - the traditional study of knowledge - into a rigorous discipline by removing conceptual roadblocks and developing formal tools required for a fully naturalized epistemology. The evolutionary approach which Harms favours begins with the common observation that if our senses and reasoning were not reliable, then natural selection would have eliminated them long ago. The challenge for some time has been how to transform these informal musings about evolutionary epistemology into a rigorous theoretical discipline capable of complementing current scientific studies of the evolution of cognition with a philosophically defensible account of meaning and justification.



Action Contemplation and Happiness

Action  Contemplation  and Happiness Author C. D. C. Reeve
ISBN-10 9780674065475
Release 2012-03-12
Pages 320
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"The notion of practical wisdom is one of Aristotle's greatest inventions. It has inspired philosophers as diverse as Martin Heidegger, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Elizabeth Anscombe, Michael Thompson, and John McDowell. Now a leading scholar of ancient philosophy offers a challenge to received accounts of practical wisdom by situating it in the larger context of Aristotle's views on knowledge and reality. That happiness is the end pursued by practical wisdom is commonly agreed. What is disputed is whether happiness is to be found in the practical life of political action, in which we exhibit courage, temperance, and other virtues of character, or in the contemplative life, where theoretical wisdom is the essential virtue. C.D.C. Reeve argues that the dichotomy is bogus, that these lives are in fact parts of a single life, which is the best human one. In support of this view, he develops innovative accounts of many of the central notions in Aristotle's metaphysics, epistemology, and psychology, including matter and form, scientific knowledge, dialectic, educatedness, perception, understanding, political science, practical truth, deliberation, and deliberate choice. These accounts are based directly on freshly translated passages from many of Aristotle's writings. Action, Contemplation, and Happiness is an accessible essay not just on practical wisdom but on Aristotle's philosophy as a whole."--book jacket.



Philosophy of Microbiology

Philosophy of Microbiology Author Maureen O'Malley
ISBN-10 9781107024250
Release 2014-08-28
Pages 277
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Filling a major gap in the philosophy of biology by examining central philosophical issues in microbiology, this book is aimed at philosophers and scientists who wish to gain insight into the basic philosophical issues of microbiology. Topics are drawn from evolutionary microbiology, microbial ecology, and microbial classification.



The Species Problem

The Species Problem Author Richard A. Richards
ISBN-10 1107541077
Release 2015-07-30
Pages 248
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There is long-standing disagreement among systematists about how to divide biodiversity into species. Over twenty different species concepts are used to group organisms, according to criteria as diverse as morphological or molecular similarity, interbreeding and genealogical relationships. This, combined with the implications of evolutionary biology, raises the worry that either there is no single kind of species, or that species are not real. This book surveys the history of thinking about species from Aristotle to modern systematics in order to understand the origin of the problem, and advocates a solution based on the idea of the division of conceptual labor, whereby species concepts function in different ways - theoretically and operationally. It also considers related topics such as individuality and the metaphysics of evolution, and how scientific terms get their meaning. This important addition to the current debate will be essential for philosophers and historians of science, and for biologists.