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Darwinian ReductionismOr, How to Stop Worrying and Love Molecular Biology$
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Alexander Rosenberg

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780226727295

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226727318.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 01 December 2021

Introduction Biology's Untenable Dualism

Introduction Biology's Untenable Dualism

(p.1) Introduction Biology's Untenable Dualism
Darwinian Reductionism
University of Chicago Press

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

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