Reasoning in Biological Discoveries brings together a series of essays which focus on one of the most heavily debated topics of scientific discovery today. Collected together and richly illustrated for the first time in this edition, Darden's essays represent a ground-breaking foray into one of the major problems facing scientists and philosophers of science. Divided into three sections, the essays focus on broad themes, notably historical and philosophical issues at play in discussions of biological mechanism; and the problem of developing and refining reasoning strategies, including interfield relations and anomaly resolution. Published here for the first time, Darden summarizes the philosophy of discovery and elaborates on the role that mechanisms play in biological discovery. Throughout the book, she uses historical case studies to extract advisory reasoning strategies for discovery. Examples in genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, immunology, neuroscience, and evolutionary biology reveal the process of discovery in action.
Overall, this book is useful both as an introduction to the philosophical literature on mechanisms and as an overview of the main themes in Darden's work. It is a good introduction not only because Darden's views have had such an influence on recent work on mechanisms in philosophy of science, but also because she discusses the work of other philosophers throughout the papers and in the final chapter. Robyn Bluhm, Ph.D, The University of Western Ontario, Metapsychology Online Reviews.
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