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Developmental Biology is the study of organisms’ life cycles from single cell to complex reproducing and aging multi-cellular organisms. It endeavours to explain phenomena such as: cellular differentiation (e.g. neurons vs. liver cells) and cellular aging, the development of gross morphology and anatomical structures (e.g. body shape and organs -eyes and limbs-), and the development of an organism as an integrated part of an eco-system (e.g. phenotypic plasticity). The philosophically relevant points, in addition to broader philosophy of science inquiries (e.g. confirmation and explanation) are those that have to do with the ontological status of biological kinds and with inter-level relations, specifically the integration of developmental biology with evolutionary biology and to a lesser extent, with ecology. Keeping this is in mind the subcategories within Developmental Biology can be grouped into three main themes: evolution(Evolutionary-Developmental Biology, Developmental Constraints and Process Structuralism)ecology (Ecological Developmental Biology, Epigenetic Inheritance, Nature vs. Nurture and Innateness) and ontology (Developmental Modularity, Developmental System Theory and Process Structuralism).

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  1. Joachim W. Deitmer (2000). Glial Strategy for Metabolic Shuttling and Neuronal Function. Bioessays 22 (8):747-752.
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  2. Bruce Demple (1987). Adaptive Responses to Genotoxic Damage: Bacterial Strategies to Prevent ‐Mutation and Cell Death. Bioessays 6 (4):157-160.
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  3. Rob Denell (1987). Insect Developmental Genetics – Moving Beyond Drosophila. Bioessays 6 (2):77-79.
  4. Alessandro Dini (1987). Scienze della vita e filosofia nel Seicento e Settecento. [REVIEW] History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 9 (2):327 - 332.
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  5. Hans Driesch (1937). Studien Zur Theorie der Organischen Formbildung. Acta Biotheoretica 3 (1):51-80.
    The concept of embryological “exactness” is introduced; it becomes rather complicated if a called interaction of embryological parts is in question. From the point of view of the biological mechanist “exactness” is ultimately founded upon a given material structure. The experiment is the only possible way to decide, whether the mechanistic view is right or not; mere description does not suffice here. The decision is in favor of so called vitalism. The “harmonious-equipotential system” implies “exactness”. The “genes” are not the (...)
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  6. Hans Driesch (1936). Zur Kritik Des „Holismus”. Acta Biotheoretica 1 (3):185-202.
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  7. François Duchesneau (1985). Embryologie au XVIII E Siècle: L'Interprétation de S. Roe. [REVIEW] History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 7 (2):321 - 327.
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  8. Catherine M. Duckett & John C. Gray (1995). Illuminating Plant Development. Bioessays 17 (2):101-103.
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  9. Michael Eisenbach & Ilan Tur‐Kaspa (1999). Do Human Eggs Attract Spermatozoa? Bioessays 21 (3):203-210.
  10. Lorenz Engell (2011). Ontogenetic Machinery. Radical Philosophy 169:10.
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  11. Richard G. A. Faragher & David Kipling (1998). How Might Replicative Senescence Contribute to Human Ageing? Bioessays 20 (12):985-991.
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  12. Willy Feller (1940). On the Logistic Law of Growth and its Empirical Verifications in Biology. Acta Biotheoretica 5 (2):51-66.
    Es wird untersucht, wie weit den empirischen Bestätigungen der logistischen Differentialgleichung als Ausdruck eines biologischen Wachstumsgesetzes tatsächliche Beweiskraft zukommt. Durch eine Reihe praktischer Ausgleichungen wurde geprüft, welche Güte der Annäherung im Durchschnitt zu erwarten ist, wenn durch eine beliebige andere dreiparametrige ScharS-förmiger Kurven ersetzt wird und ). Es zeigt sich überraschenderweise, dass sich die logistische Kurve keineswegs besonders gut dem biologischen Material anpasst, und dass letzteres auch mit ganz anderen Hypothesen vereinbar wäre. Ähnliches gilt auch von den Experimenten vonGause bewiesen (...)
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  13. S. M. Frisch (1995). Development, Databases and the Internet. Bioessays 17:1002-1002.
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  14. C. Galperin (1999). [From experimental embryology to a genetics of development: from Hans Spemann to Antonio Garcia-Bellido]. Revue d'Histoire des Sciences 53 (3-4):581-616.
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  15. M. Ghiselin (2002). Christine Hertler, Morphologische Methoden in der Evolutionsforschung. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 23 (2):318-318.
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  16. Paul E. Griffiths (2001). Genetic Information: A Metaphor in Search of a Theory. Philosophy of Science 68 (3):394-412.
    John Maynard Smith has defended against philosophical criticism the view that developmental biology is the study of the expression of information encoded in the genes by natural selection. However, like other naturalistic concepts of information, this ‘teleosemantic’ information applies to many non-genetic factors in development. Maynard Smith also fails to show that developmental biology is concerned with teleosemantic information. Some other ways to support Maynard Smith’s conclusion are considered. It is argued that on any definition of information the view that (...)
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  17. Thomas Grigliatti (1985). Developmental Biology and Genetics: An Informative Overview. Genetics and Development. By JAMES H. SANG. Longman, 1984. Pp. 398. £10.50. [REVIEW] Bioessays 3 (6):278-279.
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  18. Clifford Grobstein (1985). The Early Development of Human Embryos. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 10 (3):213-236.
    The development of the human embryo from the time of fertilization through the eighth post-fertilization week is described for medical policy purposes. During pre-implantation stages, differentiation occurs between precursors of embryonic and extra-embryonic structures. During implantation formation of a fore-hind axis begins within the inner cell mass. By the end of the eighth week, head, face, hands, and feet are suggestive as to species-recognition but not yet definitive. Data from laboratory studies of non-human mammalian embryos elucidate important aspects of human (...)
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  19. J. B. Gurdon (1992). In Search of New Principles of Development Biological Asymmetry and Handedness (1991). Ciba Symposium 162, Ed. Gregory R. Bock AND Joan Marsh. John Wiley. PP.iX+327. £47.40 ISBN 0 471 92961 1. [REVIEW] Bioessays 14 (6):427-427.
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  20. Alex Gurwitsch & Lydia Gurwitsch (1936). Der Feldbegriff in Seiner Anwendung Auf Das Problem der Zellteilung. Acta Biotheoretica 2 (2):77-92.
    The authors show that in certain isolated tissues the mitotic processes continue during at least one hour. They are very strongly stimulated by heat and also by mitogenetic radiation. In the case of the cancer cells new mitoses are promoted in considerable number. A detailed analysis of both energy factors leads to the conclusion that they effect a disturbance of the unstable constellations of the elementary particles in the cell-body. Thus a certain degree of disorganisation of its plasma seems to (...)
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  21. Amy Gutmann (2011). The Ethics of Synthetic Biology: Guiding Principles for Emerging Technologies. Hastings Center Report 41 (4):17-22.
    The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues released its first report, New Directions: The Ethics of Synthetic Biology and Emerging Technologies, on December 16, 2010.1 President Barack Obama had requested this report following the announcement last year that the J. Craig Venter Institute had created the world’s first self-replicating bacterial cell with a completely synthetic genome. The Venter group’s announcement marked a significant scientific milestone in synthetic biology, an emerging field of research that aims to combine the knowledge (...)
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  22. Herve Guyader & Michel Ferre (1988). Organogenesis at the Shoot Apex: An Attempt at Modelization. Acta Biotheoretica 37 (1).
    A geometrical model of the emergence of a primordium at the shoot apex in dicotyledons is proposed. It is based on recent fundamental results on plant morphogenesis, i.e.:- the emergence is preceded by the reorganization of the microtubules of the cortical cytoskeleton, leading to a new orientation of the synthesis of the cell wall microfibrils; - the resulting global stress is related to the general orientation of the cell growth. So the model sums up the continuous interactions linking the microtubules, (...)
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  23. Brian K. Hall & Manfred D. Laubichler (2008). Conrad H. Waddington: Towards a Theoretical Biology. Biological Theory 3 (3):233-237.
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  24. B. Hannigan (1996). Understanding Ageing By Robin Holliday. Bioessays 18:852-852.
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  25. Thomas F. Hansen & David Houle (2004). Evolvability, Stabilizing Selection, and the Problem of Stasis. In Massimo Pigliucci & Katherine Preston (eds.), Phenotypic Integration: Studying the Ecology and Evolution of Complex Phenotypes. Oxford University Press
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  26. J. A. P. Heesterbeek (2002). A Brief History of R0 and a Recipe for its Calculation. Acta Biotheoretica 50 (3):189-204.
    In this paper I present the genesis of R 0 in demography, ecology and epidemiology, from embryo to its current adult form. I argue on why it has taken so long for the concept to mature in epidemiology when there were ample opportunities for cross-fertilisation from demography and ecology from where it reached adulthood fifty years earlier. Today, R 0 is a more fully developed adult in epidemiology than in demography. In the final section I give an algorithm for its (...)
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  27. Lia Hemerik, Nelly van der Hoeven & Jacques J. M. van Alphen (2002). Egg Distributions and the Information a Solitary Parasitoid has and Uses for its Oviposition Decisions. Acta Biotheoretica 50 (3):167-188.
    Approximately three decades ago the question was first answered whether parasitoids are able to assess the number or origin of eggs in a host for a solitary parasitoid, Leptopilina heterotoma, by fitting theoretically derived distributions to empirical ones. We extend the set of different theoretically postulated distributions of eggs among hosts by combining searching modes and abilities in assessing host quality. In the models, parasitoids search either randomly (Poisson) (1) or by vibrotaxis (Negative Binomial) (2). Parasitoids are: (a) assumed to (...)
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  28. Frederick G. Henke (1912). Art's Phases of Evolution and Heredity. [REVIEW] Journal of Philosophy 9 (5):138.
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  29. J. Herkovits & J. Faber (1978). Shape: Its Development and Regulation Capacity During Embryogenesis. Acta Biotheoretica 27 (3-4):185-200.
    Although several theoretical approaches consider general methods for dealing with shape, recent observations and experimental data show that embryos exhibit marked changes in the properties of the biological material involved in shape development and shape regulation capacity. In vivo experiments have shown that the amphibian embryo gradually develops from a situation in which it is not able to maintain its shape to one in which it can not only maintain its shape but also possesses a maximal tolerance towards deformation together (...)
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  30. David B. Hershenov (2002). Olson's Embryo Problem. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 80 (4):502-511.
  31. Leonard Hersher (1985). On the Development of Certain Species of Very Large Body Size by Linear-Dominance Mating Hierarchy. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 29 (1):88-91.
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  32. Nicole H. Hess & Shane J. Macfarlan (2013). Review of Daniel J. Hruschka's Friendship: Development, Ecology, and Evolution of a Relationship (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010). [REVIEW] Human Nature 24 (3):348-350.
  33. L. T. Hobhouse (1927/1969). Development and Purpose. Grosse Pointe, Mich.,Scholarly Press.
    purpose, the train of events which it sets up and the* ultimate end are seen as an ... Conversely, an organic whole is one which is determined by a purpose. ...
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  34. Geoffrey M. Hodgson & Thorbjørn Knudsen (2008). Information, Complexity and Generative Replication. Biology and Philosophy 23 (1):47-65.
    The established definition of replication in terms of the conditions of causality, similarity and information transfer is very broad. We draw inspiration from the literature on self-reproducing automata to strengthen the notion of information transfer in replication processes. To the triple conditions of causality, similarity and information transfer, we add a fourth condition that defines a “generative replicator” as a conditional generative mechanism, which can turn input signals from an environment into developmental instructions. Generative replication must have the potential to (...)
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  35. Felix J. H. Hol, Xin Wang & Juan E. Keymer (2012). Population Structure Increases the Evolvability of Genetic Algorithms. Complexity 17 (5):58-64.
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  36. Gábor Holló (2014). Animals Are Both Radially and Bilaterally Symmetrical: Accommodating Seemingly Mutually Exclusive Paradigms. Bioessays 36 (9):901-902.
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  37. Ekkehard Höxtermann (1994). Zur Geschichte des Hormonbegriffes in der Botanik und zur Entdeckungsgeschichte der 'Wuchsstoffe'. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 16 (2):311 - 337.
    The beginning of hormone research in the history of botany is discussed. Specific growth substances had been assumed to explain organ correlations in plants long before the term hormone was introduced into physiology. Progress in medical endocrinology did not initially have a particularly deep influence on physiology of plant development. Only a few botanists used the hormone concept without, however, having great resonance. Studies on phototropic responses led to the acceptance of growth regulating substances. But doubts arose if these plant (...)
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  38. David L. Hull (2006). The Essence of Scientific Theories. Biological Theory 1 (1):17-19.
  39. David L. Hull (1998). A Clash of Paradigms or the Sound of One Hand Clapping. Biology and Philosophy 13 (4):587-595.
  40. David L. Hull (1988). A Period of Development: A Response. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 3 (2):241-263.
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  41. Philippe Huneman (2013). Causal Parity and Externalisms: Extensions in Life and Mind. [REVIEW] Minds and Machines 23 (3):377-404.
    This paper questions the form and prospects of “extended theories” which have been simultaneously and independently advocated both in the philosophy of mind and in the philosophy of biology. It focuses on Extend Mind Theory (EMT) and Developmental Systems Theory (DST). It shows first that the two theories vindicate a parallel extension of received views, the former concerning extending cognition beyond the brain, the latter concerned with extending evolution and development beyond the genes. It also shows that both arguments rely (...)
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  42. Philippe Huneman, Reflexive Judgement and Wolffian Embryology: Kant's Shift Between the First and the Third Critique.
    The problem of generation has been, for Kant scholars, a kind of test of Kant's successive concepts of finality. Although he deplores the absence of a naturalistic account of purposiveness (and hence of reproduction) in his pre-critical writings, in the First Critique he nevertheless presents a "reductionist" view of finality in the Transcendental Dialectic's Appendices. This finality can be used only as a language, extended to the whole of nature, but which must be filled with mechanistic explanations. Therefore, in 1781, (...)
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  43. Philip Husbands, Andrew Philippides, Patricia Vargas, Christopher L. Buckley, Peter Fine, Ezequiel Di Paolo & Michael O'Shea (2010). Spatial, Temporal, and Modulatory Factors Affecting GasNet Evolvability in a Visually Guided Robotics Task. Complexity 16 (2):35-44.
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  44. Hans Werner Ingensiep (2004). The History of the Plant Embryo. Terminology and Visualization From Ancient Until Modern Times. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 26 (3/4):309 - 331.
    Since ancient times comparisons between embryonic forms of humans, animals, and plants are known. In deciphering a plant embryo and its development, one applied a specific zoomorphic terminology. Until the 17th century naturalists who studied plants were inspired by the concepts of ancient natural philosophy. Since then plant embryos are visualized by drawings and diagrammatic sketches. In the 18th century the embryo became an important issue in debates concerning theories of generation and the analogy between animal egg and vegetable seed (...)
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  45. L. S. Jacyna (2003). Moral Fibre: The Negotiation of Microscopic Facts in Victorian Britain. [REVIEW] Journal of the History of Biology 36 (1):39 - 85.
    During the 1840s and 1850s the British embryologist and histologist Martin Barry (1802-1855) propounded a bold and original thesis about the microscopic structure of animal and vegetable tissue. He maintained that minute double spirals were virtually ubiquitous in the makeup of a wide range of structures. This paper considers how a claim of this kind was consonant with a romantic image of scientific creativity with which Barry identified. It describes his partially successful strategies to convince contemporaries of the veracity of (...)
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  46. Sybillyn Jennings (2012). Learning to Dance with Maxine Sheets-Johnstone: Maxine Sheets-Johnstone: The Primacy of Movement, John Benjamins, Amsterdam, 2011, 2nd Expanded Edition, 574 Pp, $49.95 Pbk, ISBN 978-9027252197 (Book Review). [REVIEW] Biological Theory 6 (2):184-186.
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  47. George H. Jensen (2010). Evolvability of Consciousness. Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 66 (4):881 - 895.
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  48. Jukka Jernvall (2013). The Causality Horizon and the Developmental Bases of Morphological Evolution. Biological Theory 8 (3):286-292.
    With the advent of evolutionary developmental research, or EvoDevo, there is hope of discovering the roles that the genetic bases of development play in morphological evolution. Studies in EvoDevo span several levels of organismal organization. Low-level studies identify the ultimate genetic changes responsible for morphological variation and diversity. High-level studies of development focus on how genetic differences affect the dynamics of gene networks and epigenetic interactions to modify morphology. Whereas an increasing number of studies link independent acquisition of homoplastic or (...)
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  49. MiloŠ Jílek (1975). Stochastic Development of Cell Populations Under Non-Homogeneous Conditions. Acta Biotheoretica 24 (3-4):108-119.
    Studies on the development of cell populations are often based on results of the theory of stochastic birth- and death-processes (continuous or discrete (seee.g. references inVogel, Niewisch &Matioli (1969), in some cases, death may be interpreted not as actual death of the cell bute.g. as a recruitment of the cell considered into another cell compartment, etc.). It is usually assumed that the conditions for the development are homogeneous,i.e. that the probabilities of births and deaths are independent on the time. However, (...)
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  50. Jas Johnstone (1932). Chemical Embryology. By Joseph Needham. (London: Cambridge University Press. 1931. 3 Vols.). Philosophy 7 (27):354-.
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