Levels of organization: a deflationary account
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- Eronen, M.I. Biol Philos (2015) 30: 39. doi:10.1007/s10539-014-9461-z
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The idea of levels of organization plays a central role in the philosophy of the life sciences. In this article, I first examine the explanatory goals that have motivated accounts of levels of organization. I then show that the most state-of-the-art and scientifically plausible account of levels of organization, the account of levels of mechanism proposed by Bechtel and Craver, is fundamentally problematic. Finally, I argue that the explanatory goals can be reached by adopting a deflationary approach, where levels of organization give way to more well-defined and fundamental notions, such as scale and composition.