Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-tn8tq Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-06-21T02:01:19.268Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

19 - Molecular and Systems Biology and Bioethics

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 April 2008

David L. Hull
Affiliation:
Northwestern University, Illinois
Michael Ruse
Affiliation:
Florida State University
Get access

Summary

Molecular biology has set itself the task of looking for the fundamental pieces with which the biological jigsaw is to be put together. Not surprisingly (but with surprising efficacy), it has found many of them, and there are certainly more to come. Once found, these pieces can be arranged on a page next to one another in a reasonable sequence, and . . . Behold! An organism! Well, not quite.

Cohen and Rice 1996, 239

The philosophy of molecular biology was, for a time, entirely preoccupied with reduction and reductionism: primarily the reduction of classical genetics to molecular genetics (Kitcher 1984, Waters 1994, Sarkar 1998), but also and more recently the reduction of complex organismal phenotypes to genes (Rosenberg 1997, Sarkar 1998). While these remain of substantial interest, some new areas of interest have also emerged, including philosophical attention to molecular mechanisms (Machamer, Craver, and Darden 2000, Darden and Tabery 2005) and mathematical models (Keller 2002, Sarkar 2005). In-depth focus on the intricate details of the science is increasingly commonplace (e.g., Schaffner 2000, Burian 2004, Sarkar 2005). Molecular biology has also proved to be of philosophical interest not only for its own sake, but also in the service of molecular explanations of evolution (e.g., Burian 2004), disease (e.g., Kitcher 1996), and behavior (e.g., Schaffner 2000), inter alia.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2007

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×