The Biological Way of Thought
"Describes the special methods of concept formation and explanation that distinguish biology from the other natural sciences. Beckner examines biological subject matter and biological theory, His method of approach is dual: through a logical analysis of historical, functional, and polytypic concepts and an examination of their role in achieving theoretical unification; and through a logical analysis of model-explanation, teleology, and historical explanation. The results of this investigation are applied to a number of standing problems in biological methodology--for example, the significance of holistic versus reductive points of view, the logical character of the taxonomic system, and the nature of explanation in evolution theory"--From publisher description.
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apply assumptions beginner-event Bertalanffy Biological Principles biological theory causal cept character criteria criterion defined definition described directive activity directively correlated distinction E-definition empirical employed escape reaction evolution theory example exhibit explanandum explanans fact factors focal condition formulation fully polytypic func functional analysis functional concepts gametes genetic analysis genetic explanation goal h-variable higher level higher taxa historical concepts Humean Humean Pattern Huxley Ibid L-class level of organization logical methodological model-explanation monophyletic monophyly morphological Nagel natural necessary neural plate occurrence ontogeny organismic biologists particular phenomena philosophers Philosophy of Science photosynthesis phylogenetic phylogenetic explanation phylogeny physical polytypic with respect population possess possible problem properties reference relation selection theory sense simplifying Simpson Sommerhoff species rank state-variables statements subsidiary hypotheses sufficient Systematics taxa taxon taxonomic teleological behavior teleological explanation teleological system test-procedure tion variables W-defined Woodger yield zygote