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Explanation in Classical Population Genetics
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 71, No. 5, Proceedings of the 2002 Biennial Meeting of The Philosophy of Science AssociationPart II: Symposia PapersEdited by Sandra D. Mitchell (December 2004), pp. 1201-1214
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/426773
Page Count: 14
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Population genetics, Darwinism, Evolution, Biology, Explanation theories, Mathematical models, Gaussian distributions, Mathematical modeling, Genetics, Genetic inheritance
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The recent literature in philosophy of biology has drawn attention to the different sorts of explanations proffered in the biological sciences—we have molecular, biomedical, and evolutionary explanations. Do these explanations all have a common structure or relation that they seek to capture? This paper will answer in the negative. I defend a pluralistic and pragmatic approach to explanation. Using examples from classical population genetics, I argue that formal demonstrations, and even strictly “mathematical truths,” may serve as explanatory in different historical contexts.
Copyright 2004 by the Philosophy of Science Association. All rights reserved.