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Genes Made Molecular

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 April 2022

C. Kenneth Waters*
Affiliation:
Department of Philosophy Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science University of Minnesota
*
Send reprint requests to the author, Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.

Abstract

This paper investigates what molecular biology has done for our understanding of the gene. I base a new account of the gene concept of classical genetics on the classical dogma that gene differences cause phenotypic differences. Although contemporary biologists often think of genes in terms of this concept, molecular biology provides a second way to understand genes. I clarify this second way by articulating a molecular gene concept. This concept unifies our understanding of the molecular basis of a wide variety of phenomena, including the phenomena that classical genetics explains in terms of gene differences causing phenotypic differences.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © 1994 by the Philosophy of Science Association

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Footnotes

I thank Tom Dahlin for engineering assistance and Kate Beckingham, Lindley Darden, Ron Giere, Bob Herman, David Hull, Harold Kincaid, Pete Magee, David Queller, Joan Strassmann, Mike Simmons, and especially Erich Reck and Tom Wilson for their comments and suggestions on earlier drafts. Early stages of this research was supported by NSF Grant No. Dir 89–12221; later stages were supported by the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota and the McKnight Foundation.

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