The Epistemological Status of Astrobiology: A Problematic Case of Integration of Scientific Disciplines


Astrobiology is a scientific discipline that studies life in the Universe. We call it a discipline and not a science because some authors have cast doubts over its epistemological status by calling it 'a science without an object of study'.

As with astrophysics, the scientific nature of astrobiology is related to historical-narrative sciences and nomothetic sciences. This discipline also integrates complex methodological and conceptual problems which originate from the methodological and epistemological differences that exist between physics and biology. This is why it is so important to evidence the different philosophical approaches from which its results are interpreted.

After a brief historical introduction, we will consider the problem of life and we will analyse the influence that different philosophical approaches have on astrobiology. Subsequently, we will introduce ontological and epistemological questions that originate from interdisciplinarity, for example, their role in a physicalistic type of reductionism and in teleology.

Juan Campos Quemada
(Submitted on 19 Sep 2017)

Comments: 22 pages, bibliography, Spanish. arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:1709.05971
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Other Quantitative Biology (q-bio.OT)
Cite as: arXiv:1709.06562 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:1709.06562v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)
Submission history
From: Juan Campos Quemada
[v1] Tue, 19 Sep 2017 10:34:21 GMT (654kb)

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