Images of Development: Environmental Causes in Ontogeny

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SUNY Press, 1999 - Science - 182 pages
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Images of Development questions the dominant biological approach of explaining animal development as entirely genetic by exploring the explanatory value of investigating environmental influences. Van der Weele discusses assumptions, explanatory patterns, and conceptual tools in developmental and evolutionary biology and reviews many concrete examples of environmental influence in animal development. She provides perspectives from biology, philosophy of science, and ethics in an integrative way.
 

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Contents

Introduction How to Understand Development?
1
Choices
4
Three Approaches to Development
5
Metaphors and Science
7
A General Picture Is Not Enough
9
Morality
13
Relationships with Other Discussions
14
Three Causal Approaches
19
Development and Evolution
73
Proximate and Ultimate Causes
77
Internal versus External Causes
79
Different Roles for the Environment
84
Developmental Systems and the Boundary Problem
88
Environmental Causes in Ontogeny
91
And Polyphenisms
97
Study of Gene Regulation
99

Segmentation in Drosophila
21
Switches and Responses
26
Goodwin versus NeoDarwinism
33
NetworksConstructions
37
Comparison and Conclusions
43
Explanations in their Theoretical Context
47
Completeness and the Ideal Explanatory Text
48
The Ideal Text and Pragmatism
50
TradeOffs
52
Metaphors
53
Differences
55
Causal Explanation in Genetics
57
What Is Relational Causation?
59
Structuralist Causation
61
Constructionist Causation
64
Similarities and Differences
66
Implications for the Pragmatics of Causal Explanation
69
HeatShock Proteins
101
Making a Difference
103
Abnormal Environments
114
Background Environments
115
Toward an Ecology of Development
119
Ethics of Attention
123
Gatfinkel and ValueLaden Explanations
124
Positively Bias
125
Causal Choices and their Context
127
Contested Scientific Choices
131
Ethics of Attention
133
Notes
141
References
149
Coda
171
Index
177
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About the author (1999)

Cor van der Weele is Assistant Professor of Science and Ethics at Utrecht University, The Netherlands.

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