Full Text

biology, philosophy of

LEONORE FLEMING


Subject Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405168908.2010.x


Extract

The branch of philosophy that is devoted to the study of biology. As a subset of P hilosophy of science , philosophy of biology restricts its focus mainly to biology, although other sciences such as physics and chemistry are also important. Essentially, biology is the study of life, and it is often to biology that we turn when we have questions not just about life in general, but about human nature. Although biology is mainly comprised of facts, “biology's exciting conclusions do not follow from the facts alone” ( Sterelny and Griffiths, 1999 , p. 5). Claims in biology often leave the realm of data analysis and enter the realm of self-reflection and speculation, and for this reason, one might argue, philosophy has a clear place in biology. For simplicity's sake, one might say there are three general types of questions in philosophy of biology. The first contains questions in philosophy of science that have been narrowed to the subject of biology. For example, general epistemological questions about explanation in science or the status of laws in science are narrowed to questions about explanation in biology and the status of laws in biology. The second type of question contains problems in biology that biology has been unable to answer. An example here would be any question in theoretical biology, such as whether organisms have become more complex over time. A third type of question ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:

 

     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.


[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top