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The Complexity-based Explanatory Strategy, Biological Levels, and the Origin of Life

Perović, Slobodan (2019) The Complexity-based Explanatory Strategy, Biological Levels, and the Origin of Life. [Preprint]

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Abstract

A long-standing debate on the causality of levels in biological explanations has divided philosophers into two camps. The reductionist camp insists on the causal primacy of lower, molecular levels, while the critics point out the inescapable shifting, reciprocity, and circularity of levels across biological explanations. We argue, however, that many explanations in biology do not exclusively draw their explanatory power from detailed insights into inter-level interactions; they predominantly require identifying the adequate levels of biological complexity to be explained. Moreover, the main explanatory strategies grounding both theoretical and experimental approaches to one of the central debates in contemporary biology, i.e., on the origin of life, are primarily and sometimes exclusively driven by issues concerning the levels of biochemical complexity, and these only subsequently frame more substantial and detailed accounts of inter-level biochemical interactions.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Perović, Slobodansperovic@f.bg.ac.rs
Additional Information: To be published in Rivista di Estetica (Empirical evidence and philosophy)
Keywords: Biology; Origin of life; explanation; reduction; levels of explanation
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
Specific Sciences > Biology > Molecular Biology/Genetics
Specific Sciences > Complex Systems
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
Depositing User: Dr. Slobodan Perovic
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2019 12:04
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2019 12:04
Item ID: 15772
Official URL: https://journals.openedition.org/estetica/
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
Specific Sciences > Biology > Molecular Biology/Genetics
Specific Sciences > Complex Systems
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
Date: 26 February 2019
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/15772

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