Introduction Biology's Untenable Dualism

in Darwinian Reductionism

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2006 | ISBN: 9780226727295
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226727318 | DOI:
Introduction Biology's Untenable Dualism

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This introductory chapter discusses how the combination of physicalism and antireductionism is an untenable dualism. This book argues that the physicalist must be a reductionist. But the physicalist must be a reductionist of a sort not hitherto seen among biologists and philosophers of biology. The reductionism defended here is not tempered or qualified, partial or tentative. But it is “nuanced.” It has some twists; it has learned some important lessons from antireductionism and from those biologists and philosophers who have defended it. Most important, it accepts Theodosius Dobzhansky's dictum as literally true, and faces squarely the crucial problem of how to provide a reduction of the biologist's theory of natural selection to the scientific foundations recognized by physics and chemistry. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.

Keywords: molecular biology; reductionism; antireductionism; Theodosius Dobzhansky; biologists; physicalism; philosophers; dualism; natural selection

Chapter.  11052 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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