Biological Complexity and Integrative Pluralism

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Cambridge University Press, Sep 15, 2003 - Philosophy - 244 pages
This fine collection of essays by a leading philosopher of science presents a defense of integrative pluralism as the best description for the complexity of scientific inquiry today. The tendency of some scientists to unify science by reducing all theories to a few fundamental laws of the most basic particles that populate our universe is ill-suited to the biological sciences, which study multi-component, multi-level, evolved complex systems. This book will be of interest to students and professionals in the philosophy of science
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Constitutive Complexity
13
21 Compositional Complexity and the Superorganism Metaphor
14
Dynamic Complexity
38
31 The Evolution of Division of Labor
39
Evolved Diversity
58
41 Competing Units of Selection? A Case of Symbiosis
59
42 The Units of Behavior in evolutionary Explanations
75
52 Dimensions of Scientific Law
126
Lessons from Biology
147
An Inadequte Representation for Biological Contingency
161
Pluralism or Disunity
179
61 Critics of Unity of Science
180
62 On Pluralism and Competition in Evolutionary
194
63 Integrative Pluralism
208
References
219

43 On Biological Functions
92
Laws
115
51 Pragmatic Laws
116

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