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  1. Denis Alexander & Ronald L. Numbers (eds.) (2010). Biology and Ideology From Descartes to Dawkins. The University of Chicago Press.
    An accessible survey, this collection will enlighten historians of science, their students, practicing scientists, and anyone interested in the relationship ...
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  2. Leandro Assis & Ingo Brigandt (2009). Homology: Homeostatic Property Cluster Kinds in Systematics and Evolution. Evolutionary Biology 36:248-255.
    Taxa and homologues can in our view be construed both as kinds and as individuals. However, the conceptualization of taxa as natural kinds in the sense of homeostatic property cluster kinds has been criticized by some systematists, as it seems that even such kinds cannot evolve due to their being homeostatic. We reply by arguing that the treatment of transformational and taxic homologies, respectively, as dynamic and static aspects of the same homeostatic property cluster kind represents a good perspective for (...)
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  3. Scott Atran (1998). Folk Biology and the Anthropology of Science: Cognitive Universals and Cultural Particulars. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (4):547-569.
    This essay in the is about how cognition constrains culture in producing science. The example is folk biology, whose cultural recurrence issues from the very same domain-specific cognitive universals that provide the historical backbone of systematic biology. Humans everywhere think about plants and animals in highly structured ways. People have similar folk-biological taxonomies composed of essence-based, species-like groups and the ranking of species into lower- and higher-order groups. Such taxonomies are not as arbitrary in structure and content, nor as variable (...)
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  4. Scott Atran (1998). Taxonomic Ranks, Generic Species, and Core Memes. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (4):593-604.
    The target article contains a number of distinct but interrelated claims about the cognitive nature of folk biology based in part on cross-cultural work with urbanized Americans and forest-dwelling Maya Indians. Folk biology consists universally of a ranked taxonomy centered on essence-based generic species. This taxonomy is domain-specific, perhaps an innately determined evolutionary adaptation. Folk biology also plays a special role in cultural evolution in general, and in the development of Western biological science in particular. Even in our culture, however, (...)
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  5. Robert Aunger & Valerie Curtis (2008). Kinds of Behaviour. Biology and Philosophy 23 (3):317-345.
    Sciences able to identify appropriate analytical units for their domain, their natural kinds, have tended to be more progressive. In the biological sciences, evolutionary natural kinds are adaptations that can be identified by their common history of selection for some function. Human brains are the product of an evolutionary history of selection for component systems which produced behaviours that gave adaptive advantage to their hosts. These structures, behaviour production systems, are the natural kinds that psychology seeks. We argue these can (...)
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  6. Christopher J. Austin (forthcoming). Aristotelian Essentialism: Essence in the Age of Evolution. Synthese:1-18.
    The advent of contemporary evolutionary theory ushered in the eventual decline of Aristotelian Essentialism (Æ) – for it is widely assumed that essence does not, and cannot have any proper place in the age of evolution. This paper argues that this assumption is a mistake: if Æ can be suitably evolved, it need not face extinction. In it, I claim that if that theory’s fundamental ontology consists of dispositional properties, and if its characteristic metaphysical machinery is interpreted within the framework (...)
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  7. Theodore Bach (2012). Gender Is a Natural Kind with a Historical Essence. Ethics 122 (2):231-272.
    Traditional debate on the metaphysics of gender has been a contrast of essentialist and social-constructionist positions. The standard reaction to this opposition is that neither position alone has the theoretical resources required to satisfy an equitable politics. This has caused a number of theorists to suggest ways in which gender is unified on the basis of social rather than biological characteristics but is “real” or “objective” nonetheless – a position I term social objectivism. This essay begins by making explicit the (...)
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  8. Tudor Baetu (2012). Defining Species: A Multi-Level Approach. Acta Biotheoretica 60 (3):239-255.
    Different concepts define species at the pattern-level grouping of organisms into discrete clusters, the level of the processes operating within and between populations leading to the formation and maintenance of these clusters, or the level of the inner-organismic genetic and molecular mechanisms that contribute to species cohesion or promote speciation. I argue that, unlike single-level approaches, a multi-level framework takes into account the complex sequences of cause-effect reinforcements leading to the formation and maintenance of various patterns, and allows for revisions (...)
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  9. Matthew J. Barker (2013). Biological Explanations, Realism, Ontology, and Categories. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):617-622.
  10. Matthew J. Barker (2007). The Empirical Inadequacy of Species Cohesion by Gene Flow. Philosophy of Science 74 (5):654-665.
    This paper brings needed clarity to the influential view that species are cohesive entities held together by gene flow, and then develops an empirical argument against that view: Neglected data suggest gene flow is neither necessary nor sufficient for species cohesion. Implications are discussed. ‡I'm grateful to Rob Wilson, Alex Rueger and Lindley Darden for important comments on earlier drafts, and to Joseph Nagel, Heather Proctor, Ken Bond, members of the DC History and Philosophy of Biology reading group, and audience (...)
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  11. Matthew J. Barker & Joel D. Velasco (2013). Deep Conventionalism About Evolutionary Groups. Philosophy of Science 80 (5):971-982.
    We argue for a new conventionalism about many kinds of evolutionary groups, including clades, cohesive units, and populations. This rejects a consensus, which says that given any one of the many legitimate grouping concepts, only objective biological facts determine whether a collection is such a group. Surprisingly, being any one kind of evolutionary group typically depends on which of many incompatible values are taken by suppressed variables. This is a novel pluralism underlying most any one group concept, rather than a (...)
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  12. Matthew J. Barker & Robert A. Wilson (2010). Cohesion, Gene Flow, and the Nature of Species. Journal of Philosophy 107 (2):59-77.
    A far-reaching and influential view in evolutionary biology claims that species are cohesive units held together by gene flow. Biologists have recognized empirical problems facing this view; after sharpening the expression of the view, we present novel conceptual problems for it. At the heart of these problems is a distinction between two importantly different concepts of cohesion, what we call integrative and response cohesion. Acknowledging the distinction problematizes both the explanandum of species cohesion and the explanans of gene flow that (...)
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  13. H. Clark Barrett (2001). On the Functional Origins of Essentialism. [Journal (Paginated)] (in Press) 2 (1):1-30.
    This essay examines the proposal that psychological essentialism results from a history of natural selection acting on human representation and inference systems. It has been argued that the features that distinguish essentialist representational systems are especially well suited for representing natural kinds. If the evolved function of essentialism is to exploit the rich inductive potential of such kinds, then it must be subserved by cognitive mechanisms that carry out at least three distinct functions: identifying these kinds in the environment, constructing (...)
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  14. J. Bartol (2014). Biochemical Kinds. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu046.
    Chemical kinds (e.g. gold) are generally treated as having timelessly fixed identities. Biological kinds (e.g. goldfinches) are generally treated as evolved and/or evolving entities. So what kind of kind is a biochemical kind? This paper defends the thesis that biochemical molecules are clustered chemical kinds, some of which–namely, evolutionarily conserved units–are also biological kinds.On this thesis, a number of difficulties that have recently occupied philosophers concerned with proteins and kinds are shown to be resolved or dissolved.
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  15. Ann-Sophie Barwich (2013). A Pluralist Approach to Extension: The Role of Materiality in Scientific Practice for the Reference of Natural Kind Terms. Biological Theory 7 (2):100-108.
    This article argues for a different outlook on the concept of extension, especially for the reference of general terms in scientific practice. Scientific realist interpretations of the two predominant theories of meaning, namely Descriptivism and Causal Theory, contend that a stable cluster of descriptions or an initial baptism fixes the extension of a general term such as a natural kind term. This view in which the meaning of general terms is presented as monosemantic and the referents as stable, homogeneous, and (...)
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  16. Ann-Sophie Barwich & Alba Amilburu (2012). Bridging Disciplines? An Inquiry on the Future of Natural Kinds in Philosophy and the Life Sciences: Natural Kinds in Philosophy and in the Life Sciences: Scholastic Twilight or New Dawn? Granada, Spain, 7–9 September 2011 (Meeting Report). [REVIEW] Biological Theory 6 (2):187-190.
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  17. Ann-Sophie Barwich & Alba Amilburu (2011). Bridging Disciplines? An Inquiry on the Future of Natural Kinds in Philosophy and the Life Sciences. Biological Theory 6 (2):187-190.
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  18. Helen Beebee & Nigel Sabbarton-Leary (2010). Are Psychiatric Kinds Real? European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 6 (1):11-27.
    The paper considers whether psychiatric kinds can be natural kinds and concludes that they can. This depends, however, on a particular conception of ‘natural kind’. We briefly describe and reject two standard accounts – what we call the ‘stipulative account’ (according to which apparently a priori criteria, such as the possession of intrinsic essences, are laid down for natural kindhood) and the ‘Kripkean account’ (according to which the natural kinds are just those kinds that obey Kripkean semantics). We then rehearse (...)
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  19. Corine Besson (2012). Empty Natural Kind Terms and Dry-Earth. Erkenntnis 76 (3):403-425.
    This paper considers the problem of assigning meanings to empty natural kind terms. It does so in the context of the Twin-Earth externalist-internalist debate about whether the meanings of natural kind terms are individuated by the external physical environment of the speakers using these terms. The paper clarifies and outlines the different ways in which meanings could be assigned to empty natural kind terms. And it argues that externalists do not have the semantic resources to assign (...)
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  20. Jessica Bolker (2013). The Use of Natural Kinds in Evolutionary Developmental Biology. Biological Theory 7 (2):121-129.
    Evolutionary developmental biologists categorize many different kinds of things, from ontogenetic stages to modules of gene activity. The process of categorization—the establishment of “kinds”—is an implicit part of describing the natural world in consistent, useful ways, and has an essentially practical rather than philosophical basis. Kinds commonly serve one of three purposes: they may function (1) as practical tools for communication; (2) to support prediction and generalization; or (3) as a basis for theoretical discussions. Beyond the minimal requirement that classifications (...)
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  21. Andrea Borghini (2008). La durata naturale di un genere naturale. Rivista di Estetica 48 (39):89-101.
    Natural kind realists believe that the world is carved out into kinds of things. Critiques addressed towards natural kind realism aimed at showing the difficulties in discerning a universal spatial structure and behavior common to all the members of an alleged kind. Little or no attention, however, has been given to the temporal structure of a natural kind. After showing (in the first section) that some kinds are indeed temporally extended, the second section of the paper argues that there is (...)
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  22. Andrea Borghini & Elena Casetta (2012). Quel che resta dei generi naturali. Rivista di Estetica 52 (49):247-271.
    If natural kinds were defined on the basis of fixed and immutable essences, then––with the end of essentialism in life sciences––their end, at least for those kinds confined to the living realm, would ensue as well (1-2). If appropriately revised and adapted, however, natural kinds may still play an important theoretical role, not only for the sake of philosophical speculation, but also in accomodating scientific practices and in providing an adequate rendering of human reasoning. The proposal outlined in this paper (...)
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  23. Peter J. Bowler (1994). Are the Arthropoda a Natural Group? An Episode in the History of Evolutionary Biology. Journal of the History of Biology 27 (2):177 - 213.
  24. Richard Boyd (2010). Homeostasis, Higher Taxa, and Monophyly. Philosophy of Science 77 (5):686-701.
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  25. Richard Boyd (1999). Homeostasis, Species, and Higher Taxa. In R. A. Wilson (ed.), Species: New Interdisciplinary Essays. MIT Press 141-85.
  26. David Braddon-Mitchell (2005). Conceptual Stability and the Meaning of Natural Kind Terms. Biology and Philosophy 20 (4):859-868.
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  27. Ingo Brigandt (2009). Natural Kinds in Evolution and Systematics: Metaphysical and Epistemological Considerations. Acta Biotheoretica 57 (1-2):77-97.
    Despite the traditional focus on metaphysical issues in discussions of natural kinds in biology, epistemological considerations are at least as important. By revisiting the debate as to whether taxa are kinds or individuals, I argue that both accounts are metaphysically compatible, but that one or the other approach can be pragmatically preferable depending on the epistemic context. Recent objections against construing species as homeostatic property cluster kinds are also addressed. The second part of the paper broadens the perspective by considering (...)
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  28. Carl Brusse (2016). Planets, Pluralism, and Conceptual Lineage. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 53:93-106.
    Conceptual change can occur for a variety of reasons; some more scientifically significant than others. The 2006 definition of ‘planet’, which saw Pluto reclassified as a dwarf planet, is an example toward the more mundane end of the scale. I argue however that this case serves as a useful example of a related phenomenon, whereby what appears to be a single kind term conceals two or more distinct concepts with independent scientific utility. I examine the historical background to this case, (...)
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  29. Roger C. Buck & David L. Hull (1966). The Logical Structure of the Linnaen Hierarchy. Systematic Zoology 15 (2):97-111.
  30. Cameron Buckner (2013). A Property Cluster Theory of Cognition. Philosophical Psychology (3):1-30.
    Our prominent definitions of cognition are too vague and lack empirical grounding. They have not kept up with recent developments, and cannot bear the weight placed on them across many different debates. I here articulate and defend a more adequate theory. On this theory, behaviors under the control of cognition tend to display a cluster of characteristic properties, a cluster which tends to be absent from behaviors produced by non-cognitive processes. This cluster is reverse-engineered from the empirical tests that comparative (...)
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  31. Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke & Matthew H. Slater (eds.) (2011). Carving Nature at its Joints: Natural Kinds in Metaphysics and Science. MIT Press.
    Are there natural kinds of things around which our theories cut? The essays in this volume offer reflections by a distinguished group of philosophers on a series of intertwined issues in the metaphysics and epistemology of classification.
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  32. Joseph Keim Campbell, Matthew H. Slater & Michael O'Rourke (eds.) (forthcoming). Carving Nature at its Joints. Topics in Contemporary Philosophy, Vol. 8. MIT Press.
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  33. Jeffrey Carr (2009). Aristotle's Use of 'Genos' in Logic, Philosophy, and Science. Peter Lang.
    Introduction -- The common hellenic meaning of "genus" -- The Pollaxos legomena or things said in many ways -- Genus in the explanation of change : the subject and substratum principles -- To what is Aristotle's theory of change a response? : the pre-socratic and platonic background -- Change : the principles of nature in physics I -- A first mention of matter and form -- Genus in the explanation of change : the definition of change -- Aristotle's definition of (...)
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  34. Ricardo Cavicchioli, Paul M. G. Curmi, Neil Saunders & Torsten Thomas (2003). Pathogenic Archaea: Do They Exist? Bioessays 25 (11):1119-1128.
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  35. Christopher Hughes Conn (2002). Locke on Natural Kinds and Essential Properties. Journal of Philosophical Research 27:475-497.
    The two opinions concerning real essences that Locke mentions in III.iii.17 represent competing theories about the way in which naturally occurring objects are divided into species. In this paper I explain what these competing theories amount to, why he denies the theory of kinds that is embodied in the first of these opinions, and how this denial is related to his general critique of essentialism. I argue first, that we cannot meaningfully ask whether Locke accepts the existence of natural (...)
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  36. Sylvia Culp (1994). Defending Robustness: The Bacterial Mesosome as a Test Case. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:46 - 57.
    Rasmussen (1993) argues that, because electron microscopists did not use robustness and would not have been warranted in using it as a criterion for the reality or the artifactuality of mesosomes, the bacterial mesosome serves as a test case for robustness that it fails. I respond by arguing that a more complete reading of the research literature on the mesosome shows that ultimately the more robust body of data did not support the mesosome and that electron microscopists used and were (...)
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  37. David Davies (2005). Atran's Unnatural Kinds. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 5 (2):345-357.
    Scott Atran has argued that scientific thinking about living things necessarily emerges out of a common-sense structure of ideas which reflects the ways in which humans are constitutionally disposed to think about ‘manifestly perceivable empirical fact’. He maintains that the uniformity in folk-biological taxonomy under diverse socio-cultural learning conditions established by recent ethnobiological research undermines the predominant view that folk classifications of living things are a function of local interests and culture, and he further maintains that such uniformity must be (...)
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  38. Brian K. Davis (2005). Asp‐tRNAAsn: To Be or Not to Be? Bioessays 27 (12):1310-1310.
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  39. Michael Devitt (2011). Natural Kinds and Biological Realisms. In Michael O'Rourke, Joseph Keim Campbell & Matthew H. Slater (eds.), Carving Nature at its Joints. MIT Press
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  40. Michael Devitt (2008). Resurrecting Biological Essentialism. Philosophy of Science 75 (3):344-382.
    The article defends the doctrine that Linnaean taxa, including species, have essences that are, at least partly, underlying intrinsic, mostly genetic, properties. The consensus among philosophers of biology is that such essentialism is deeply wrong, indeed incompatible with Darwinism. I argue that biological generalizations about the morphology, physiology, and behavior of species require structural explanations that must advert to these essential properties. The objection that, according to current “species concepts,” species are relational is rejected. These concepts are primarily concerned with (...)
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  41. Antonio Diéguez (2013). Life as a Homeostatic Property Cluster. Biological Theory 7 (2):180-186.
    All of the attempts to date to find a set of necessary and sufficient conditions for life, in order to provide an essential definition of life, have failed. We only have at our disposal series of lists that contain diverse characteristics usually found in living beings. Some authors have drawn from this fact the conclusion that life is not a natural kind. It will be argued here that this conclusion is too hasty and that if life is understood as a (...)
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  42. Stephen Dilley (2013). The Evolution of Methodological Naturalism in the Origin of Species. Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 3 (1):20-58.
  43. Theodosius Dobzhansky (1970). Genetics of the Evolutionary Process. Columbia University Press.
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  44. Travis Dumsday (2010). Defending an Essentialist Ontology of Kinds, Laws, and Biological Taxa. Dissertation, Proquest
  45. John Dupr (2006). Humans and Other Animals. Clarendon Press.
    John Dupr presents a set of provocative and highly readable essays exploring the ways in which we categorize animals, including humans: he comes to surprisingly radical conclusions. We must reject the idea that each organism has an essence that determines its necessary place in the unique hierarchy of things. Nature is not organized in a single system. It is a mistake to generalize about human nature--for instance, about the gender roles or sexual behaviour of our species. We must take a (...)
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  46. J. Dupre (2001). In Defence of Classification. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 32 (2):203-219.
    It has increasingly been recognised that units of biological classification cannot be identified with the units of evolution. After briefly defending the necessity of this distinction I argue, contrary to the prevailing orthodoxy, that species should be treated as the fundamental units of classification and not, therefore, as units of evolution. This perspective fits well with the increasing tendency to reject the search for a monistic basis of classification and embrace a pluralistic and pragmatic account of the species category. It (...)
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  47. John Dupre (2004). Review of Joseph LaPorte, Natural Kinds and Conceptual Change. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2004 (6).
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  48. John Dupré (2004). Human Kinds and Biological Kinds: Some Similarities and Differences. Philosophy of Science 71 (5):892-900.
    This paper compares human diversity with biological diversity generally. Drawing on the pluralistic perspective on biological species defended in earlier work (2002, chs. 3 and 4), I argue that there are useful parallels to be drawn between human and animal kinds, as there are between their respective sources in cultural evolution and evolution generally. This view is developed in opposition to the insistence by sociobiologists and their successors on minimizing the significance of culture. The paper concludes with a discussion of (...)
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  49. John Dupré (2002). Is 'Natural Kind' a Natural Kind Term? The Monist 85 (1):29-49.
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  50. John Dupré (1999). Are Whales Fish. In D. Medin & S. Atran (eds.), Folkbiology. MIT Press 461--476.
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