Philosophy of Stem Cell Biology: Knowledge in Flesh and Blood

Hardcover | January 25, 2013

byMelinda Fagan

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Examining stem cell biology from a philosophy of science perspective, this book clarifies the field's central concept, the stem cell, as well as its aims, methods, models, explanations and evidential challenges. The first chapters discuss what stem cells are, how experiments identify them, and why these two issues cannot be completely separated. The basic concepts, methods and structure of the field are set out, as well as key limitations and challenges. The second part of the book shows how rigorous explanations emerge from stem cell experiments, and compares these to other kinds of scientific explanation. Model organisms, the role of genes, and the significance of collaboration are also discussed. The last part of the book considers relations to systems biology and clinical medicine, arguing that both the mathematical models of the former, and ethical principles of the latter, are necessary for stem cell biology to deliver on its promises.

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Examining stem cell biology from a philosophy of science perspective, this book clarifies the field's central concept, the stem cell, as well as its aims, methods, models, explanations and evidential challenges. The first chapters discuss what stem cells are, how experiments identify them, and why these two issues cannot be completely ...

MELINDA FAGAN is Assistant Professor in Philosophy at Rice University, USA.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:296 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.69 inPublished:January 25, 2013Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230368271

ISBN - 13:9780230368279

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables
Acknowledgements
Visceral Phenomena
PART I
Stem Cell Concepts
Don't Know What You've Got 'Til It's Gone: Evidence in Stem Cell Experiments
A State of Uncertainty: Stemness and the Roles of Theory
PART II
Mechanistic Explanation: The Joint Account
Genes and Development: The Stem Cell Perspective
Pluripotent Model Organisms
Social Experiments
PART III
Integrating Stem Cell and Systems Biology
Clinical Values
Bibliography
Index