•  280
    Approaches to reduction
    Philosophy of Science 34 (2): 137-147. 1967.
    Four current accounts of theory reduction are presented, first informally and then formally: (1) an account of direct theory reduction that is based on the contributions of Nagel, Woodger, and Quine, (2) an indirect reduction paradigm due to Kemeny and Oppenheim, (3) an "isomorphic model" schema traceable to Suppes, and (4) a theory of reduction that is based on the work of Popper, Feyerabend, and Kuhn. Reference is made, in an attempt to choose between these schemas, to the explanation of physi…Read more
  •  142
    The Dopamine Hypothesis of Schizophrenia: An Historical and Philosophical Analysis
    Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 18 (1): 41-63. 2011.
    This essay selectively reviews, from an historical and philosophical perspective, the dopamine (DA) hypothesis of schizophrenia (DHS; Table 1 lists the abbreviations used in this essay). Our goal is not to adjudicate the validity of the theory—although we arrive at a generally skeptical conclusion—but to focus on the process whereby the DHS has evolved over time and been evaluated. Since its inception, the DHS has been the most prominent etiologic theory in psychiatry and is still referred to wi…Read more
  •  130
    Ethical problems in clinical trials
    Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 11 (4): 297-315. 1986.
  •  114
    Reduction: the Cheshire cat problem and a return to roots
    Synthese 151 (3): 377-402. 2006.
    In this paper, I propose two theses, and then examine what the consequences of those theses are for discussions of reduction and emergence. The first thesis is that what have traditionally been seen as robust, reductions of one theory or one branch of science by another more fundamental one are a largely a myth. Although there are such reductions in the physical sciences, they are quite rare, and depend on special requirements. In the biological sciences, these prima facie sweeping reductions fa…Read more
  •  112
    The Watson-Crick model and reductionism
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 20 (4): 325-348. 1969.
  •  108
    In Quest for Scientific Psychiatry: Toward Bridging the Explanatory Gap
    with Drozdstoj Stoyanov and Peter Machamer
    Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 20 (3): 261-273. 2013.
    The contemporary epistemic status of mental health disciplines does not allow the cross validation of mental disorders among various genetic markers, biochemical pathway or mechanisms, and clinical assessments in neuroscience explanations. We attempt to provide a meta-empirical analysis of the contemporary status of the cross-disciplinary issues existing between neuro-biology and psychopathology. Our case studies take as an established medical mode an example cross validation between biological …Read more
  •  85
    Model organisms and behavioral genetics: A rejoinder
    Philosophy of Science 65 (2): 276-288. 1998.
    In this rejoinder to the three preceding comments, I provide some additional philosophical warrant for the biomedical sciences' focus on model organisms. I then relate the inquiries on model systems to the concept of 'deep homology', and indicate that the issues that appear to divide my commentators and myself are in part empirical ones. I cite recent work on model organisms, and especially C. elegans that supports my views. Finally, I briefly readdress some of the issues raised by Developmental…Read more
  •  81
    This article considers claims that biology should seek general theories similar to those found in physics but argues for an alternative framework for biological theories as collections of prototypical interlevel models that can be extrapolated by analogy to different organisms. This position is exemplified in the development of the Hodgkin‐Huxley giant squid model for action potentials, which uses equations in specialized ways. This model is viewed as an “emergent unifier.” Such unifiers, which …Read more
  •  78
    Ernest Nagel and Reduction
    Journal of Philosophy 109 (8-9): 534-565. 2012.
  •  66
    the structure of medical science with a special focus on the role of generalizations and universals in medicine, and (2) philosophy of medicine's relation with the philosophy of science. I argue that a usually overlooked aspect of Kuhnian paradigms, namely, their characteristic of being "exemplars", is of considerable significance in the biomedical sciences. This significance rests on certain important differences from the physical sciences in the nature of theories in the basic and the clinical…Read more
  •  64
    Theory structure, reduction, and disciplinary integration in biology
    Biology and Philosophy 8 (3): 319-347. 1993.
    This paper examines the nature of theory structure in biology and considers the implications of those theoretical structures for theory reduction. An account of biological theories as interlevel prototypes embodying causal sequences, and related to each other by strong analogies, is presented, and examples from the neurosciences are provided to illustrate these middle-range theories. I then go on to discuss several modifications of Nagel''s classical model of theory reduction, and indicate at wh…Read more
  •  63
    Medical informatics and the concept of disease
    Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 21 (1): 85-100. 2000.
    This paper attempts to address the general questionwhether information technologies, as applied in thearea of medicine and health care, have or are likelyto change fundamental concepts regarding disease andhealth. After a short excursion into the domain ofmedical informatics I provide a brief overview of someof the current theories of what a disease is from amore philosophical perspective, i.e. the ``valuefree'' and ``value laden'' view of disease. Next, Iconsider at some length, whether health …Read more
  •  62
    Correspondence rules
    Philosophy of Science 36 (3): 280-290. 1969.
    The traditional role which correspondence rules, coordinating definitions, or semantical rules, have in a logical analysis of a scientific theory is questioned by providing an alternative analysis. The alternative account suggests that scientific theories are "meaningful" prior to the establishment of correspondence rules, and that correspondence rules are introduced to permit explanation and testing in the "observational" sector. The role of models is briefly assessed in connection with this pr…Read more
  •  58
    Discovery and Explanation in Biology and Medicine
    University of Chicago Press. 1993.
    Kenneth F. Schaffner compares the practice of biological and medical research and shows how traditional topics in philosophy of science--such as the nature of theories and of explanation--can illuminate the life sciences. While Schaffner pays some attention to the conceptual questions of evolutionary biology, his chief focus is on the examples that immunology, human genetics, neuroscience, and internal medicine provide for examinations of the way scientists develop, examine, test, and apply theo…Read more
  •  54
    Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 9 (2): 127-134. 1984.
  •  54
    Liberals Ate My Genes?
    with Ullica Segerstrale, Paul E. Griffiths, and Steven Pinker
    Metascience 13 (1): 28-51. 2004.
  •  53
    Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 6 (2): 93-100. 1981.
  •  52
    Paradigm changes in organ transplantation: A journey toward selflessness?
    Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 19 (5): 425-440. 1998.
  •  52
    Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 14 (2): 103-107. 1989.
  •  47
    Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is a tiny worm that has become the focus of a large number of worldwide research projects examining its genetics, development, neuroscience, and behavior. Recently several groups of investigators have begun to tie together the behavior of the organism and the underlying genes, neural circuits, and molecular processes implemented in those circuits. Behavior is quintessentially organismal--it is the organism as a whole that moves and mates--but the explanations …Read more
  •  46
    In the present article I have surveyed several approaches to modeling the clinical diagnostic process. I have argued that at this point of the field's development, logics which simulate the reasoning patterns and knowledge base of expert clinicians represent research programs that are most likely to succeed. No logic of diagnosis has yet attained the status of being definitive; in spite of striking progress much more research and testing is required. On the basis of various existing logics, I ha…Read more
  •  45
    Genes, behavior, and developmental emergentism: One process, indivisible?
    Philosophy of Science 65 (2): 209-252. 1998.
    The question of the influence of genes on behavior raises difficult philosophical and social issues. In this paper I delineate what I call the Developmentalist Challenge (DC) to assertions of genetic influence on behavior, and then examine the DC through an indepth analysis of the behavioral genetics of the nematode, C. elegans, with some briefer references to work on Drosophila. I argue that eight "rules" relating genes and behavior through environmentally-influenced and tangled neural nets cap…Read more
  •  40
    Molecular Genetics, Reductionism, and Disease Concepts in Psychiatry
    with Herbert W. Harris
    Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 17 (2): 127-153. 1992.
    The study of mental illness by the methods of molecular genetics is still in its infancy, but the use of genetic markers in psychiatry may potentially lead to a Virchowian revolution in the conception of mental illness. Genetic markers may define novel clusters of patients having diverse clinical presentations but sharing a common genetic and mechanistic basis. Such clusters may differ radically from the conventional classification schemes of psychiatric illness. However, the reduction of even r…Read more
  •  40
    Further Thoughts on the Dopamine Hypothesis of Schizophrenia
    Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 18 (1): 73-75. 2011.
    We are gratified at the largely positive comments on our essay on the dopamine hypothesis of schizophrenia (DHS) by these two distinguished commentators from the fields of biological psychiatry (Dr. Tamminga) and the philosophy of psychiatry (Dr. Murphy). There is little that they have said with which we disagree. Rather, we want to expand briefly on their commentaries.We found Dr. Tamminga's reactions to be particularly fascinating because she has been an "insider" to the story of the DHS as it…Read more
  •  39
    The peripherality of reductionism in the development of molecular biology
    Journal of the History of Biology 7 (1): 111-139. 1974.
    I have not attempted to provide here an analysis of the methodology of molecular biology or molecular genetics which would demonstrate at what specific points a more reductionist aim would make sense as a research strategy. This, I believe, would require a much deeper analysis of scientific growth than philosophy of science has been able to provide thus far. What I have tried to show is that a straightforward reductionist strategy cannot be said to be follwed in important cases of theory develop…Read more
  •  37
    Theory change in immunology part I: Extended theories and scientific progress
    Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 13 (2). 1992.
    This two-part article examines the competition between the clonal selection theory and the instructive theory of the immune response from 1957–1967. In Part I the concept of a temporally extended theory is introduced, which requires attention to the hitherto largely ignored issue of theory individuation. Factors which influence the acceptability of such an extended theory at different temporal points are also embedded in a Bayesian framework, which is shown to provide a rational account of belie…Read more
  •  36
    Rendering clinical psychology an evidence‐based scientific discipline: a case study
    with Drozdstoj St Stoyanov and Peter K. Machamer
    Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 18 (1): 149-154. 2012.
  •  35
    Theories, models, and equations in systems biology
    In Fred C. Boogerd, Frank J. Bruggeman, Jan-Hendrik S. Hofmeyr & Hans V. Westerhoff (eds.), Systems Biology: Philosophical Foundations, Elsevier. pp. 145--162. 2007.
  •  32
    Logic of discovery and justification in regulatory genetics
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 4 (4): 349-385. 1974.
    In the above pages I have sketched a history of the genesis and comparative evaluation of the repressor model of genetic regulation of enzyme induction. I have not attempted in this article to carry out an analysis of the more scientifically interesting fully developed Jacob-Monod operon theory of genetic regulations but such an analysis of the operon theory would not, I believe, involve any additional logical or epistemological features than have been discussed above. I have argued that the abo…Read more