Eric Davidson, his philosophy, and the history of science

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Eric Davidson, a passionate molecular developmental biologist and intellectual, believed that conceptual advances in the sciences should be based on knowledge of conceptual history. Convinced of the superiority of a causal-analytical approach over other methods, he succeeded in successfully applying this approach to the complex feature of organismal development by introducing the far-reaching concept of developmental Gene Regulatory Networks. This essay reviews Davidson’s philosophy, his support for the history of science, and some aspects of his scientific personality.

Original languageEnglish
Article number31
JournalHistory and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • Eric H. Davidson
  • Loeb
  • Mechanistic biology
  • Neo-Darwinism
  • Popper

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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