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Biological Pluralism and Homology

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2022

Abstract

The study of similarity is fundamental to biological inquiry. Many homology concepts have been formulated that function successfully to explain similarity in their native domains, but fail to provide an overarching account applicable to variably interconnected and independent areas of biological research despite the monistic standpoint from which they originate. The use of multiple, explicitly articulated homology concepts, applicable at different levels of the biological hierarchy, allows a more thorough investigation of the nature of biological similarity. Responsible epistemological pluralism as advocated herein is generative of fruitful and innovative biological research, and is appropriate given the metaphysical pluralism that underpins all of biology.

Type
Topics in Philosophy of Biology
Copyright
Copyright © The Philosophy of Science Association

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Footnotes

Thanks to Marc Ereshefsky and Anthony Russell for many helpful discussions and encouragement, and to Ingo Brigandt for insightful comments on an earlier draft.

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