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Explanation in Biology

  • Fester Einband
  • 438 Seiten
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Patterns of explanation in biology have long been recognized as different from those deployed in other scientific disciplines, especially that of physics. Celebrating the diversity of interpretative models found in biology, this volume details their varying types as well as explaining their relationships to one another. It covers the key differentials with other sciences in the nature of explanation, such as the existence in biology of varieties unheard of in the physical sciences, such as teleological, evolutionary and even functional explanations.

Offering a wealth of fresh analysis of the phenomenon, chapters examine aspects ranging from the role of mathematics in explaining cell development to the complexities thrown up by evolutionary-developmental biology, where explanation is altered by multidisciplinarity itself. They cover major domains such as ecology and systems biology, as well as contemporary trends, such as the mechanistic explanations spawned by progress in molecular biology. With contributions from researchers of many different nationalities, the book provides a many-angled perspective on a revealing feature of the discipline of biology.

Explanation in biology is a venture into the diversity of explanatory patterns in biology, which also explores the scope and limitations of mechanistic explanations. Explanation in biology takes many important steps in this direction, and I expect this volume to set the stage for many future discussions of what it means to explain and understand biological systems in the 21st century. (Sara Green, Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, March, 2016)

Explanation in Biology is a welcome contribution to the growing literature on the diversity of explanatory practices in biology. The intended audience is primarily professional philosophers, or biologists with a philosophical bent. I would recommend this volume for any relatively scientific literate readers interested simply in gaining familiarity with some of the best recent work in systems biology, graph theory and network theory, cell and molecular biology, neuroscience, stem cell biology, genetics, and genomics. (Anya Plutynski, Science and Education, Vol. 25, 2016)


Chapter 1. Explanation in Biology: An Introduction.- PART I EXPLORING EXPLANATORY PLURALISM IN BIOLOGY.- Chapter 2. Is There an Explanation for the Diversity of Explanations in Biological Sciences?.- Chapter 3. Explanation in Systems Biology: Is It All About Mechanisms?.- Chapter 4. Historical Contingency and the Explanation of Evolutionary Trends.- Chapter 5. Developmental Noise: Explaining the Specific Heterogeneity of Individual Organisms.- PART II MECHANISTIC EXPLANATION: APPLICATIONS AND EMENDATIONS.- Chapter 6. Explaining in Contemporary Molecular Biology: Beyond Mechanisms.- Chapter 7. Evolutionary Developmental Biology and the Limits of Philosophical Accounts of Mechanistic Explanation.- Chapter 8. The Relevance of Irrelevance: Explanation in Systems Biology.- Chapter 9. Graph-Theoretic Perspectives on Dynamic Mechanistic Explanation.- PART III THE ROLE OF MATHEMATICS IN BIOLOGICAL EXPLANATIONS.- Chapter 10. Mathematical Explanation in Biology.- Chapter 11. Explanation and Organizing Principles in Systems Biology.- Chapter 12. Are dynamic mechanistic explanations still mechanistic?.- PART IV THE ROLE OF HEURISTICS IN BIOLOGICAL EXPLANATIONS.- Chapter 13. Heuristics, Descriptions, and the Scope of Mechanistic Explanation.- Chapter 14. Prospect and Limits of Explaining Biological Systems in Engineering Terms.- Chapter 15. From Mechanisms to Mathematical Models and Back to Mechanisms: Quantitative Mechanistic Explanations.- PART V NEW THEORIES OF EXPLANATION IN BIOLOGY AND ELSEWHERE.- Chapter 16. Biological Explanations as Cursory Covering Law Explanations.- Chapter 17. Explaining Cell Development: Stem Cells and Reprogramming.- Chapter 18. Explaining Causal Selection with Explanatory Causal Economy : Biology and Beyond.


Titel: Explanation in Biology
Untertitel: An Enquiry into the Diversity of Explanatory Patterns in the Life Sciences
EAN: 9789401798211
ISBN: 978-94-017-9821-1
Format: Fester Einband
Herausgeber: Springer Netherlands
Genre: Naturwissenschaften allgemein
Anzahl Seiten: 438
Gewicht: 800g
Größe: H28mm x B242mm x T162mm
Jahr: 2015
Auflage: 2015