The autonomy of functional biology: a reply to Rosenberg
- Marc Lange
- … show all 1 hide
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
Rosenberg has recently argued that explanations supplied by (what he calls) “functional biology” are mere promissory notes for macromolecular adaptive explanations. Rosenberg's arguments currently constitute one of the most substantial challenges to the autonomy, irreducibility, and indispensability of the explanations supplied by functional biology. My responses to Rosenberg's arguments will generate a novel account of the autonomy of functional biology. This account will turn on the relations between counterfactuals, scientific explanations, and natural laws. Crucially, in their treatment of the laws' relation to counterfactuals, Rosenberg's arguments beg the question against the autonomy of functional biology. This relation is considerably more subtle than is suggested by familiar slogans such as “Laws support counterfactuals; accidents don't.”
- Garfinkel A. 1981. Forms of Explanation. Yale University Press, New Haven.
- Jackson F. and Pettit P. 1992. 'In defense of explanatory ecumenism'. Economics and Philosophy 8: 1–21.
- Lange M. 2000. Natural Laws in Scientific Practice. Oxford University Press, New York.
- MacArthur R. 1972. Geographic Ecology. Princeton University Press, Princeton.
- Mill J.S. 1961. A System of Logic. Longmans Green, London.
- Putnam H. 1975. 'Philosophy and our mental life'. In: Putnam H., Philosophical Papers, Volume 2: Mind, Language, and Reality. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 292–303.
- Putnam H. 1999. The Threefold Cord. Harvard University Press, Cambridge.
- Rosenberg A. 2001a. 'Reductionism in a historical science'. Philosophy of Science 68: 135–163.
- Rosenberg A. 2001b. 'How is biological explanation possible?'. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52: 735–760.
- Rosenberg A. 2001c. 'On multiple realization and the special sciences'. Journal of Philosophy 98: 365–373.
- Sober E. 1984. The Nature of Selection. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
- Sober E. 1993. Philosophy of Biology. Westview, Boulder.
- The autonomy of functional biology: a reply to Rosenberg
Biology and Philosophy
Volume 19, Issue 1 , pp 93-109
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers
- Additional Links
- Marc Lange (1)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Philosophy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, 27599-3125, USA