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Explaining Evolutionary Innovations and Novelties: Criteria of Explanatory Adequacy and Epistemological Prerequisites
Alan C. Love
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 75, No. 5, Proceedings of the 2006 Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science AssociationPart II: Symposia PapersEdited by Cristina Bicchieri and Jason Alexander (December 2008), pp. 874-886
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/594531
Page Count: 13
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It is a common complaint that antireductionist arguments are primarily negative. Here I describe an alternative nonreductionist epistemology based on considerations taken from multidisciplinary research in biology. The core of this framework consists in seeing investigation as coordinated around sets of problems (problem agendas) that have associated criteria of explanatory adequacy. These ideas are developed in a case study, the explanation of evolutionary innovations and novelties, which demonstrates the applicability and fruitfulness of this nonreductionist epistemological perspective. This account also bears on questions of conceptual change and theory structure in philosophy of science.
Copyright 2008 by the Philosophy of Science Association. All rights reserved.