Developmental biology is the science of explaining how a variety of interacting processes generate an organism’s heterogeneous shapes, size, and structural features that arise on the trajectory from embryo to adult, or more generally throughout a life cycle. It represents an exemplary area of contemporary experimental biology that focuses on phenomena that have puzzled natural philosophers and scientists for more than two millennia. Philosophers of biology have shown renewed interest in developmental biology due to the potential relevance of development for understanding evolution, the theme of reductionism in genetic explanations, and via increased attention to the details of particular research programs. Developmental biology displays a rich array of material and conceptual practices that can be analyzed to better understand the scientific reasoning exhibited in experimental life science. This entry briefly reviews some central phenomena of ontogeny and then explores four domains that compose a subset of the import and promise of conceptual reflection on the epistemology of developmental biology.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Publisher||The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy|
|Media of output||Online|
|State||Published - 2015|