Abstractions, parts, and explanations in cancer sciences


  • Octavio Valadez-Blanco Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana




Abstraction. Pluralism. Explanation. Cancer. Reification


Most often our societies must deal with complex problems that require the look and involvement of multiple scientific and philosophical practice. This is the case of cancer, which is configured as the leading cause of death in the world and as a multifactorial and complex disease. In this paper I recover and use the notion of abstraction worked Levins and Winther who understand it as a necessary moment of science by which parts, wholes and relationships about specific problems are established. Under this view, the plurality of explanations about cancer can be understood as different partition frames, and as the joint and sometimes tension of at least three explanatory projects: the molecular, the epidemiological and the structuralist. In this paper I compare the abstractions that are made from these projects, analyzing his speeches and how they justify their explanatory power. The notion of abstraction allows us to observe how each practice can turn abstractions into concrete realities, and idealizes, that is, reified abstractions that were historically limited, causing detrimental effects on different levels. Thus, this work contributes to a more responsible and pluralistic research about the complex problems such as cancer

Biografia do Autor

Octavio Valadez-Blanco, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana

Investigador posdoctoral. Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Cuajimalpa, México



Como Citar

Valadez-Blanco, O. (2016). Abstractions, parts, and explanations in cancer sciences. Scientiae Studia, 14(1), 231-254. https://doi.org/10.11606/S1678-31662016000100011