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

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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. – Contents : Long contents; List of figures; List of tables; Acknowledgements; Introduction. – 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. – Includes bibliographical references (p. 313-335) and index.