Constant Factors and Hedgeless Hedges: On Heuristics and Biases in Biological Research

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

How does a complex organism develop from a relatively simple, homogeneous mass? The usual answer is: through the (context-dependent) execution of species-specific genetic instructions specifying the development of that organism. Commentators are sometimes skeptical of this usual answer, but of course not all commentators, and not always for the same reasons. Here I attempt to lay bare the logical structure of the usual answer through an extended analysis of the heuristics and methodological principles at play in the exploration and explanation of development - and also to show a critical ambiguity that renders the usual answer suspect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)975-988
Number of pages14
JournalPhilosophy of Science
Volume70
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Philosophy
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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