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Reasoning in Biological Discoveries
Essays on Mechanisms, Interfield Relations, and Anomaly Resolution

AUD$61.77 exc GST

Part of Cambridge Studies in Philosophy and Biology

Lindley Darden, Peter Machamer, Carl F. Craver, Nancy Maull, Joseph A. Cain
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  • Date Published: July 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521117272

AUD$ 61.77 exc GST

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About the Authors
  • Reasoning in Biological Discoveries brings together a series of essays, which focus on one of the most heavily debated topics of scientific discovery. Collected together and richly illustrated, Darden's essays represent a groundbreaking foray into one of the major problems facing scientists and philosophers of science. Divided into three sections, the essays focus on broad themes, notably historical and philosophical issues at play in discussions of biological mechanism; and the problem of developing and refining reasoning strategies, including interfield relations and anomaly resolution. Darden summarizes the philosophy of discovery and elaborates on the role that mechanisms play in biological discovery. Throughout the book, she uses historical case studies to extract advisory reasoning strategies for discovery. Examples in genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, immunology, neuroscience and evolutionary biology reveal the process of discovery in action.

    • Presents a philosophy of discovery as an extended, rational process
    • Presents an original and compelling synthesis of philosophy, history, and biology
    • Provides reasoning strategies for discovering mechanisms in biology, a task in which biologists often engage
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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521117272
    • length: 372 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.55kg
    • contains: 10 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Long contents
    List of figures
    List of tables
    Part I. Biological Mechanisms:
    1. Thinking about mechanisms Peter Machamer and Carl F. Craver
    2. Discovering mechanisms in neurobiology: the case of spatial memory Carl F. Craver
    3. Strategies in the interfield discovery of the mechanism of protein synthesis Carl F. Craver
    4. Relations among fields: Mendelian, cytological and molecular mechanisms
    Part II. Reasoning Strategies: Relating Fields, Resolving Anomalies:
    5. Interfield theories Nancy Maull
    6. Theory construction in genetics
    7. Relations among fields in the evolutionary synthesis
    8. Selection type theories Joseph A. Cain
    9. Strategies for anomaly resolution: diagnosis and redesign
    10. Exemplars, abstractions, and anomalies: representations and theory change in Mendelian and molecular genetics
    11. Strategies for anomaly resolution in the case of adaptive mutation
    Part III. Discovering Mechanisms: Construction, Evaluation, Revision:
    12. Strategies for discovering mechanisms: construction, evaluation, revision

  • Author

    Lindley Darden, University of Maryland, College Park
    Lindley Darden is Professor of Philosophy and in the Committee for Philosophy and the Sciences at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is the author of Theory Change in Science: Strategies from Mendelian Genetics, as well as numerous articles in history and philosophy of science journals. Elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1995, she served as President of the International Society for History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology from 2001 to 2003.


    Lindley Darden, Peter Machamer, Carl F. Craver, Nancy Maull, Joseph A. Cain

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