How to be an anti-reductionist about developmental biology: Response to Laubichler and Wagner
- Greg Frost-Arnold
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Alexander Rosenberg recently claimed (1997) that developmental biology is currently being reduced to molecular biology. cite several concrete biological examples that are intended to impugn Rosenberg's claim. I first argue that although Laubichler and Wagner's examples would refute a very strong reductionism, a more moderate reductionism would escape their attacks. Next, taking my cue from the antireductionist's perennial stress on the importance of spatial organization, I describe one form an empirical finding that refutes this moderate reductionism would take. Finally, I point out an actual example, anterior-posterior axis determination in the chick, that challenges the reductionist's belief that all developmental regularities can be explained by molecular biology. In short, I argue that Rosenberg's position can be saved from Laubichler and Wagner's criticisms and putative counter-examples, but it would not survive a different kind of counter-example.
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- How to be an anti-reductionist about developmental biology: Response to Laubichler and Wagner
Biology and Philosophy
Volume 19, Issue 1 , pp 75-91
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers
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- Developmental biology
- Molecular biology
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh, 1017 Cathedral of Learning, Pittsburgh, PA, 15260, USA