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En Darwinistisk reduktionism
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
2018 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Alex Rosenbergʼs Darwinian reductionism is a more recent form of reductionism that aims at settling the dispute between reductionists and antireductionists in philosophy of biology. The idea is that the principle of natural selection can be viewed as a physico-chemical law that can ground biology in physics and chemistry, and hence make reductionism possible despite issues such as multiple realizability and downward causation. Rosenbergʼs proposal has received a lot of critique, so my aim is to investigate whether this critique is sound, and to enquire into whether Rosenbergʼs understandings of reductionism, antireductionism and physicalism are reasonable, and if Darwinian reductionism can survive the critique presented. My conclusion is that Rosenberg indeed is quite controversial and makes some strong claims, but also that a lot of the critique he receives is misguided and focused on asserting that Rosenberg is mistaken, rather than actually arguing against Rosenbergʼs claims. Despite some problematic assumptions, I do think that Rosenbergʼs proposal contributes to a philosophical pluralism within philosophy of biology.

Abstract [sv]

Alex Rosenbergs darwinistiska reduktionism är en mer modern form av reduktionism vars syfte är att erbjuda en lösning bortom oenigheterna mellan reduktionister och antireduktionister inom biologins filosofi. Rosenberg menar att det naturliga urvalet kan betraktas som en fysiokemisk lag, som kan grundas i fysik och kemi, vilket därmed kan möjliggöra reduktionism trots problem såsom ”multipel realiserbarhet” eller ”nedåtgående kausalitet”. Rosenberg har fått en hel del kritik för sitt förslag, så jag ämnar att undersöka om denna kritik har fog för sig, och utreda om Rosenbergs preciseringar av reduktionism, antireduktionism och fysikalism är rimliga, och om den darwinistiska reduktionismen trots kritiken ändå kan vara motiverad. Min slutsats är att Rosenberg är tämligen kontroversiell och kommer med flera starka påståenden, men mycket av den kritik han möts av är missriktad och tycks vara mer fokuserad på att avfärda Rosenbergs resonemang snarare än att verkligen argumentera för varför dessa resonemang skulle vara bristfälliga. Trots vissa problematiska antaganden anser jag ändå att Rosenbergs förslag bidrar till en filosofisk pluralisminom biologins filosofi.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 32
Keywords [sv]
Alex Rosenberg, reduktionism, fysikalism, biologins filosofi
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-149819OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-149819DiVA, id: diva2:1228000
Subject / course
Philosophy
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-06-27 Created: 2018-06-27

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