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Where Do You Get Your Protein? Or: Biochemical Realization

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Article numberaxy044
Number of pages27
JournalBritish Journal for the Philosophy of Science
DOIs
DateAccepted/In press - 12 Jul 2018
DatePublished (current) - 2 Aug 2019

Abstract

Biochemical kinds such as proteins pose interesting problems for philosophers of science, as they can be studied from the points of view of both biology and chemistry. The relationship between the biological functions of biochemical kinds and the microstructures that they are related to is the key question. This leads us to a more general discussion about ontological reductionism, microstructuralism, and multiple realization at the biology–chemistry interface. On the face of it, biochemical kinds seem to pose a challenge for ontological reductionism and hence motivate a dual theory of chemical and biological kinds, a type of pluralism about natural kinds. But it will be argued that the challenge, which is based on multiple realization, can be addressed. The upshot is that there are reasonable prospects for ontological reductionism about biochemical kinds, which corroborates natural kind monism.

    Research areas

  • Metaphysics of Science, Philosophy of Biology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Science, Proteins, Natural Kinds, Chemical Kinds, Biological Kinds

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    Rights statement: This is the final published version of the article (version of record). It first appeared online via Oxford University Press at https://academic.oup.com/bjps/advance-article/doi/10.1093/bjps/axy044/5064051 . Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

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