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  1. Jonathan Birch (2014). Propositional Content in Signalling Systems. Philosophical Studies 171 (3):493-512.
    Skyrms, building on the work of Dretske, has recently developed a novel information-theoretic account of propositional content in simple signalling systems. Information-theoretic accounts of content traditionally struggle to accommodate the possibility of misrepresentation, and I show that Skyrms’s account is no exception. I proceed to argue, however, that a modified version of Skyrms’s account can overcome this problem. On my proposed account, the propositional content of a signal is determined not by the information that it actually carries, but by the (...)
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  2. Robert Böhm, Hannes Rusch & Özgür Gürerk (2016). What Makes People Go to War? Defensive Intentions Motivate Retaliatory and Preemptive Intergroup Aggression. Evolution and Human Behavior 37 (1):29-34.
    Although humans qualify as one of the most cooperative animal species, the scale of violent intergroup conflict among them is unparalleled. Explanations of the underlying motivations to participate in an intergroup conflict, however, remain unsatisfactory. While previous research shows that intergroup conflict increases individually costly behavior to the benefit of the in-group, it has failed to identify robust triggers of aggressive behavior directed at out-groups. Here, we present a controlled laboratory experiment which demonstrates that such aggression can be provoked systematically (...)
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  3. Antoine Danchin (1980). "A Critical Note on the Use of the Term" Phenocopy.". In Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini (ed.), Language and Learning: The Debate Between Jean Piaget and Noam Chomsky. Harvard University Press
    The discovery of the concrete basis for genes, and especially the clarification of mechanisms regulating gene expressions (in particular those that bear on the stepwise processing of hereditary information from the sequences of DNA nucleotides to the proteins) was to give flesh to the concept of a genetic program, for these regulations introduce relationships of order between the various elements of information contained in the genes. These order relations are then revealed during the time-dependent expression of the genetic program. They (...)
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  4. Heather Dyke & James Maclaurin (2013). Evolutionary Explanations of Temporal Experience. In Heather Dyke & Adrian Bardon (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Time. Wiley-Blackwell 521-535.
    A common approach in the Philosophy of Time, particularly in enquiry into the metaphysical nature of time, has been to examine various aspects of the nature of human temporal experience, and ask what, if anything, can be discerned from this about the nature of time itself. Many human traits have explanations that reside in facts about our evolutionary history. We ask whether features of human temporal experience might admit of such evolutionary explanations. We then consider the implications of any proposed (...)
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  5. James Giles (2010). Naked Love: The Evolution of Human Hairlessness. Biological Theory 5 (4):326-336.
    All primates except human beings have thick coats of body hair. This suggests the primate ancestors of human beings likewise had such body hair and that, for some evolutionary reason, lost their body hair. Various theories have been put forward but none is fully adequate. This article presents the “naked love theory.” This theory locates the origin of human hairlessness in the ancestral mother—infant relationship. In this view, hairlessness is ultimately the adaptive consequence of bipedalism. Because of bipedalism, ancestral infants (...)
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  6. Ehud Lamm, Inheritance Systems. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2012 Edition).
    Organisms inherit various kinds of developmental information and cues from their parents. The study of inheritance systems is aimed at identifying and classifying the various mechanisms and processes of heredity, the types of hereditary information that is passed on by each, the functional interaction between the different systems, and the evolutionary consequences of these properties. We present the discussion of inheritance systems in the context of several debates. First, between proponents of monism about heredity (gene-centric views), holism about heredity (Developmental (...)
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  7. Richard Leakey (2010). Understanding Humans: Serendipity and Anthropology‖. In Mark de Rond & Iain Morley (eds.), Serendipity: Fortune and the Prepared Mind. Cambridge University Press 22--27.
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  8. Elisabeth A. Lloyd (1986). Evaluation of Evidence in Group Selection Debates. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1986:483 - 493.
    I address the controversy in evolutionary biology concerning which levels of biological entity (units) can and do undergo natural selection. I refine a definition of the unit of selection, first presented by William Wimsatt, that is grounded in the structure of natural selection models. I examine Elliott Sober's objection to this structural definition, the "homogeneous populations" problem; I find that neither the proposed definition nor Sober's own causal account can solve the problem. Sober, in his solution using his causal view, (...)
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  9. Erika Lorraine Milam, Gillian R. Brown, Stefan Linquist, Steve Fuller & Elisabeth A. Lloyd (2006). Sometimes an Orgasm is Just an Orgasm. Metascience 15 (3):399-435.
    I should like to offer my greatest thanks to Paul Griffiths for providing the opportunity for this exchange, and to commentators Gillian Brown, Steven Fuller, Stefan Linquist, and Erika Milam for their generous and thought-provoking comments. I shall do my best in this space to respond to some of their concerns.
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  10. Cailin O'Connor (forthcoming). Evolving to Generalize: Trading Precision for Speed. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axv038.
    Biologists and philosophers of biology have argued that learning rules that do not lead organisms to play evolutionarily stable strategies (ESSes) in games will not be stable and thus not evolutionarily successful. This claim, however, stands at odds with the fact that learning generalization---a behavior that cannot lead to ESSes when modeled in games---is observed throughout the animal kingdom. In this paper, I use learning generalization to illustrate how previous analyses of the evolution of learning have gone wrong. It has (...)
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  11. Cailin O'Connor (2014). Evolving Perceptual Categories. Philosophy of Science 81 (5):110-121.
    This article uses sim-max games to model perceptual categorization with the goal of answering the following question: To what degree should we expect the perceptual categories of biological actors to track properties of the world around them? I argue that an analysis of these games suggests that the relationship between real-world structure and evolved perceptual categories is mediated by successful action in the sense that organisms evolve to categorize together states of nature for which similar actions lead (...)
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  12. Charles Pigden (2013). Subversive Explanations. In Gregory Dawes & James Maclaurin (eds.), A New Science of Religion,. Routledge 147-161..
    Can an explanation of a set of beliefs cast doubt on the things believed? In particular, can an evolutionary explanation of religious beliefs call the contents of those beliefs into question? Yes - under certain circumstances. I distinguish between natural histories of beliefs and genealogies. A natural history of a set of beliefs is an explanation that puts them down to naturalistic causes. (I try to give an account of natural explanations which favors a certain kind of ‘methodological atheism (...)
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  13. Hannes Rusch & Eckart Voland (2013). Evolutionary Aesthetics: An Introduction to Key Concepts and Current Issues. Aisthesis 6 (2):113-133.
    In this article we try to give a philosophically reflected introductory overview of the current theoretical developments in the field of evolutionary aesthetics. Our aim is not completeness. Rather, we try to depict some of the central assumptions and explanatory tools frequently used in evolutionary accounts of human aesthetical preferences and address a number of currently debated, open research questions.
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  14. Brendan Shea (2014). Runaway Memes. In Nicolas Michaud & Jessica Watkins (eds.), Jurassic Park and Philosophy: The Truth is Terrifying. Open Court 29-39.
    Charles Darwin famously argued that that life on earth was not the product of intelligent design, and that it instead had arisen through the entirely natural of process of evolution via natural selection. Darwin’s theory of evolution (together with Mendel’s theory of genetics) now forms the foundation of all the biological sciences. Jurassic Park, however, raises an interesting question: just how does Darwin’s theory apply to lifeforms that are the products of explicit, intelligent design? In this essay, I examine cluster (...)
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  15. Arlin Stoltzfus (2006). Mutationism and the Dual Causation of Evolutionary Change. Evolution and Development 8 (3):304-317.
    The rediscovery of Mendel's laws a century ago launched the science that William Bateson called "genetics," and led to a new view of evolution combining selection, particulate inheritance, and the newly characterized phenomenon of "mutation." This "mutationist" view clashed with the earlier view of Darwin, and the later "Modern Synthesis," by allowing discontinuity, and by recognizing mutation (or more properly, mutation-and-altered-development) as a source of creativity, direction, and initiative. By the mid-20th century, the opposing Modern Synthesis view was a prevailing (...)
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