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The structure of biological theories

Author: Paul Thompson
Publisher: New York : State University of New York Press, ©1989.
Series: SUNY series in philosophy and biology.
Edition/Format:   Print book : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
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Material Type: Government publication, State or province government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Paul Thompson
ISBN: 0887069339 9780887069338 0887069347 9780887069345
OCLC Number: 17981813
Description: x, 148 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Contents: 1. Theory structure and foundational issues in evolutionary biology --
The theory of evolution as a family of interacting models --
Sociobiology and testability --
Culture and the evolutionary process --
2. The syntactic conception of theory structure --
Formal languages and formal systems --
Euclidean geometry as a formal system --
Mathematical logic and the formal structure of scientific theories --
Empirical interpretation of a formal system --
Laws, explanation, prediction, and testing --
Criticisms of this conception --
Summary --
3. Syntactic conceptions of evolutionary theory --
The population-genetical account of Michael Ruse --
The selection theory accounts of Mary Williams and Alexander Rosenberg --
The insights and inadequacies of these accounts --
4. The semantic conception of theory structure --
Models of formal systems --
Theories as specifications of a class of models --
The set-theoretical approach --
The state space approach --
Summary --
5. A semantic conception of the structure of evolutionary theory --
A semantic conception of population genetics --
Faithfulness to foundational work in genetics --
A semantic conception of evolutionary theory as a family of interacting models --
6. Sociobiology --
Explanation and testability --
Intelligence-based behavior --
7. Culture and the evolutionary process: multitheoretic and multilevel explanatory causal chains --
Evolutionary epistemology --
Evolutionary ethics.
Series Title: SUNY series in philosophy and biology.
Responsibility: Paul Thompson.

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