Reductionism Redux: Computing the Embryo

Published

Journal Article

This paper argues that the consensus physicalist antireductionism in the philosophy of biology cannot accommodate the research strategy or indeed the recent findings of molecular developmental biology. After describing Wolpert's programmatic claims on its behalf, and recent work by Gehring and others to identify the molecular determinants of development, the paper attempts to identify the relationship between evolutionary and developmental biology by reconciling two apparently conflicting accounts of bio-function - Wright's and Nagel's (as elaborated by Cummins). Finally, the paper seeks a way of defending the two central theses of physicalist antireductionism in the light of the research program of molecular developmental biology, by sharply reducing their metaphysical force.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Rosenberg, A

Published Date

  • January 1, 1997

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 12 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 445 - 470

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0169-3867

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1023/A:1006574719901

Citation Source

  • Scopus