Multiple Realizability and Biological Modality

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Critics of multiple realizability have recently argued that we should concentrate solely on actual here-and-now realizations that are found in nature. The possibility of alternative, but unactualized, realizations is regarded as uninteresting because it is taken to be a question of pure logic or an unverifiable scenario of science fiction. However, in the biological context only a contingent set of realizations is actualized. Drawing on recent work on the theory of neutral biological spaces, the article shows that we can have ways of assessing the modal dimension of multiple realizability that do not have to rely on mere conceivability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1123-1133
Number of pages11
JournalPhilosophy of Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 603124 Theory of science



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