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Biology and Philosophy

, Volume 21, Issue 5, pp 603–605 | Cite as

Richard Levins’ Philosophy of Science

  • Michael Weisberg
Article

Mid-century philosophy of science was largely concerned with the analysis of explanation, confirmation, and physical theories. Against this backdrop of logic and physics-driven philosophy of science, Richard Levins’ early contributions to philosophy of biology are notable for their attention to the complex issues facing practicing theoreticians. In a series of articles and book chapters, Levins, a population biologist, wrote some of the most important articles analyzing biological complexity and the theoretical strategies necessary to deal with it.

Levins’ work from this period investigated a number of questions that are central to the research of contemporary philosophers: What is the nature of complexity? How should we approach the need for idealization? What are scientific models and how do they differ from set-theoretic models? How do non-additive fitness structures affect our evolutionary explanations? Is precision intrinsicaly valuable, or should theorists be content with...

Keywords

Model Building Natural Kind Contemporary Problem Population Biology Scientific Model 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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