The Biological Way of Thought

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University of California Press, 1959 - Biology - 200 pages
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"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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Contents

Introduction
1
Types of Biological Concepts
14
Models in Biological Theory
32
Systematics
55
Genetic Analysis and Explanation
81
Functional Analysis
110
Teleological Systems Behavior and Explanation
132
Selection Theory
159
Organization and Organismic Biology
173
Conclusion
190
Index
197
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