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Simple Systems and Phylogenetic Diversity

William C. Wimsatt
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 65, No. 2 (Jun., 1998), pp. 267-275
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/188260
Page Count: 9
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Simple Systems and Phylogenetic Diversity
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Abstract

The simple systems methodology is a powerful reductionistic research strategy. It has problems as implemented in developmental genetics because the organisms studied are few and unrepresentative. Stronger inferences require independent arguments that key traits are widely distributed phylogenetically. Evolutionary and developmental mechanisms of generative entrenchment and self-organization provide possible support, and are also necessary components of a developmental systems approach.

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