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生物学中的还原
中文摘要

还原一直以来都是生物学哲学关注的主要问题之一。广义上说,生物学中的还原可以划分为本体论层面上的还原、认识论层面上的还原和方法论层面上的还原,而本文讨论的生物学中的还原特指认识论层面上的还原。迄今为止,有关生物学中还原的讨论大致经历了两个时期。前一个时期关注的是理论还原,其主要议题是经典遗传学与分子遗传学之间是否构成理论还原关系。本文在第2章就该议题进行了讨论,我的观点是经典遗传学不能被还原为分子遗传学,两个学科实际上构成一种半同构半非同构的关系。理论还原时期过后,有关生物学中还原的讨论进入了解释还原时期,其中解释还原指的是仅仅通过系统部分性质解释系统整体性质的过程。该时期的主要议题包括两个,第一,是否任何生物学系统的任何整体性质都能够仅仅通过部分性质得到解释,我把对这一问题的肯定同答记作弱解释还原论;第二,是否任何生物学系统的任何整体性质都最好仅仅通过部分性质得到解释,我将对这一问题的肯定同答记作强解释还原论。本文在第3章就这两个议题进行了讨论,我的结论是一方面生物学中尚不存在能够否定弱解释还原论的证据,另一方面强解释还原论是不成立的。上面的解释还原是一种涉及空间层级(整体-部分)的还原,而我认为生物学中还存在一种涉及时间层级的还原,我将其命名为时间还原。本文的第4章就此展开了讨论,我的结论是时间还原发生在进化发育生物学与简单进化理论之间,生物体的生活周期通过该还原从一个时间段被延展成为一个完整的时间周期。我们再次回到解释还原,解释还原要求仅仅通过部分性质解释整体性质,而生物学中还存在一类更强的还原,它要求仅仅通过基因这一特定种类的部分来解释整体性质,我将其记作基因还原。基因还原按照其发生的学科不同可细分为发育生物学中的基因还原和进化生物学中的基因还原,本文在第5章和第6章就二者分别进行了讨论,我的观点是两种基因还原都不成立。 关键字:还原,还原论,理论还原,解释还原,时间还原,基因还原

英文摘要

Reduction has been a long-standing issue in philosophy of biology. Broadly speaking, reductions in biology could be grouped into three main categories—ontological reduction, epistemological reduction, methodological reduction—and "reduction in biology" in this thesis refers exclusively to epistemological reduction. Up to now, discussion surrounding reduction in biology has gone through two main periods. The first period places its focus on theory reduction and the main issue in this period is whether a relation of theory reduction stands between classical genetics and molecular genetics. Chapter 2 of my thesis is devoted to this period and my opinion is that no relation of theory reduction stands between classical genetics and molecular genetics. Furthermore, Ⅰ suggest the two disciplines actually constitute a half-isomorphic relation. On the other hand, the second period of discussion on reduction in biology is mainly built around explanatory reduction, which refers to the process of explaining a property of a system solely with properties of the system's parts. Two issues stand out in this period. Issue 1 concerns the question of whether all properties of all biological systems could be explained solely by properties of their parts and I use weak reductionism to refer to the positive answer to this question; issue 2 concerns the question of whether all properties of all biological systems are best explained solely by properties of their parts and I use strong reductionism to refer to the positive answer to this question. Chapter 3 in this thesis is devoted to these two issues of explanatory reduction and my stance is that on one hand, no current biological evidence could totally deny weak reductionism, while on the other hand, strong reductionism is untenable. Explanatory reduction above is a reduction with a spatial hierarchy(part-whole) and I suggest in biology there is another new kind of reduction with a temporal hierarchy, which I call temporal reduction and would discuss in Chapter 4. Therein, I would argue that temporal reduction takes place between evolutionary developmental biology and what I call simple evolutionary theory, and through this reduction the life cycle of an organism is expanded from a particular time period to a complete time cycle. Going back to explanatory reduction, this kind of reduction requires explaining the system solely with its parts but does not specify which parts the explanation shall interrogate. However, in biology there is an even stronger kind of reduction which not only requires explaining the system solely with its parts but also demands the only kind of parts the explanation could adopt is the gene. I call this kind of reduction gene reduction and will discuss it in Chapter 5(gene reduction in developmental biology) and 6(gene reduction in evolutionary biology). My opinion there is that gene reduction is untenable in both developmental biology and evolutionary biology. KEY WORDS: Reduction, Reductionism, Theory reduction, Explanatory reduction, Temporal reduction, Gene reduction

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