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História, Ciências, Saúde-Manguinhos

versión impresa ISSN 0104-5970versión On-line ISSN 1678-4758


CAPONI, Gustavo. Physics of organisms versus hermeneutics of living being: the reach of the reductionist program in contemporary biology. Hist. cienc. saude-Manguinhos [online]. 2007, vol.14, n.2, pp.443-468. ISSN 0104-5970.

The distinction between functional biology and evolutionary biology, as set out by E. Mayr and F. Jacob, is central to any conclusive findings on one of the most widely discussed problems in the philosophy of biology: the possible reduction of biology to physics and chemistry. The questions that define the cognitive objectives of functional biology are different from those that guide physics: they are functional questions, but the answers we seek for them can be expressed in the language of physics. Meanwhile, the questions set forth in evolutionary biology lead to a kind of discourse that cannot be translated into the language of physics. In order to show this we analyze the experimental procedures that have been developed in population genetics.

Palabras clave : reductionism; evolutionary biology; functional biology; Ernst Mayr; François Jacob.

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