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  1. Mahesh Ananth (2008). In Defense of an Evolutionary Concept of Health. Ashgate.
    In responding to this debate, Ananth both surveys the existing literature, with special focus on the work of Christopher Boorse, and argues that a naturalistic ...
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  2. Alfonso Arroyo-Santos & Xavier de Donato-Rodríguez, Idealization and the Structure of Theories in Biololgy.
    In this paper we present a new framework of idealization in biology. We characterize idealizations as a network of counterfactual conditionals that can exhibit different degrees of contingency. We use the idea of possible worlds to say that, in departing more or less from the actual world, idealizations can serve numerous epistemic, methodological or heuristic purposes within scientific research. We defend that, in part, it is this structure what helps explain why idealizations, despite being deformations of reality, are so successful (...)
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  3. Alfonso Arroyo-Santos, Mark E. Olson & Francisco Vergara-Silva (2013). The Phylogeography Debate and the Epistemology of Model-Based Evolutionary Biology. Biology and Philosophy 29 (6):833-850.
    Phylogeography, a relatively new subdicipline of evolutionary biology that attempts to unify the fields of phylogenetics and population biology in an explicit geographical context, has hosted in recent years a highly polarized debate related to the purported benefits and limitations that qualitative versus quantitative methods might contribute or impose on inferential processes in evolutionary biology. Here we present a friendly, non-technical introduction to the conflicting methods underlying the controversy, and exemplify it with a balanced selection of quotes from the primary (...)
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  4. C. Blomberg, H. Liljenström, B. I. B. Lindahl & P. Århem (1994). Mind and Matter: Essays From Biology, Physics and Philosophy: An Introduction. Journal of Theoretical Biology 171 (1).
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  5. Tomislav Bracanovic (2002). The Referee's Dilemma. The Ethics of Scientific Communities and Game Theory. Prolegomena 1 (1):55-74.
    This article argues that various deviations from the basic principles of the scientific ethos – primarily the appearance of pseudoscience in scientific communities – can be formulated and explained using specific models of game theory, such as the prisoner’s dilemma and the iterated prisoner’s dilemma. The article indirectly tackles the deontology of scientific work as well, in which it is assumed that there is no room for moral skepticism, let alone moral anti-realism, in the ethics of scientific communities. (...)
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  6. Rachael L. Brown (2013). Identifying Behavioral Novelty. Biological Theory (2):1-14.
    Although there is no in-principle impediment to an EvoDevo of behavior, such an endeavor is not as straightforward as one might think; many of the key terms and concepts used in EvoDevo are tailored to suit its traditional focus on morphology, and are consequently difficult to apply to behavior. In this light, the application of the EvoDevo conceptual toolkit to the behavioral domain requires the establishment of a set of tractable concepts that are readily applicable to behavioral characters. Here, I (...)
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  7. David J. Buller (2009). Evolutionary Psychology. In Michael Ruse & Joseph Travis (eds.), Evolution: The First Four Billion Years. Harvard University Press 557-560.
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  8. David J. Buller (2006). Evolutionary Psychology: A Critique. In Elliott Sober (ed.), Conceptual Issues in Evolutionary Biology, 3rd ed. MIT Press 197-214.
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  9. Charles Darwin (1967). L'origine delle specie. Boringhieri.
  10. Tanya De Villiers (2007). Why Peirce Matters : The Symbol in Deacon’s Symbolic Species. Language Sciences 29 (1):88-101.
    In ‘‘Why brains matter: an integrational perspective on The Symbolic Species’’ Cowley (2002) [Language Sciences 24, 73–95] suggests that Deacon pictures brains as being able to process words qua tokens, which he identifies as the theory’s Achilles’ heel. He goes on to argue that Deacon’s thesis on the co-evolution of language and mind would benefit from an integrational approach. This paper argues that Cowley’s criticism relies on an invalid understanding of Deacon’s use the concept of ‘‘symbolic reference’’, which he appropriates (...)
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  11. Tanya De Villiers (2002). Complexity and the Self. Dissertation, University of Stellenbosch
    In this thesis it is argued that the age-old philosophical "Problem of the Self' can benefit by being approached from the perspective of a relatively recent science, namely that of Complexity Theory. With this in mind the conceptual features of this theory is highlighted and summarised. Furthermore, the argument is made that the predominantly dualistic approach to the self that is characteristic of the Western Philosophical tradition serves to hinder, rather than edify, our understanding of the phenomenon. The benefits posed (...)
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  12. Stephen M. Downes, Heritability. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  13. Leonore Fleming (2012). Network Theory and the Formation of Groups Without Evolutionary Forces. Evolutionary Biology 39 (1):94-105.
    This paper presents a modified random network model to illustrate how groups can form in the absence of evolutionary forces, assuming groups are collections of entities at any level of organization. This model is inspired by the Zero Force Evolutionary Law, which states that there is always a tendency for diversity and complexity to increase in any evolutionary system containing variation and heredity. That is, in the absence of evolutionary forces, the expectation is a continual increase in diversity and complexity (...)
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  14. James Franklin (1986). Aristotle on Species Variation. Philosophy 61 (236):245 - 252.
    Explains Aristotle's views on the possibility of continuous variation between biological species.
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  15. L. R. Franklin-Hall (2010). Trashing Life's Tree. Biology and Philosophy 25 (4):689-709.
    The Tree of Life has traditionally been understood to represent the history of species lineages. However, recently researchers have suggested that it might be better interpreted as representing the history of cellular lineages, sometimes called the Tree of Cells. This paper examines and evaluates reasons offered against this cellular interpretation of the Tree of Life. It argues that some such reasons are bad reasons, based either on a false attribution of essentialism, on a misunderstanding of the problem of lineage identity, (...)
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  16. Logan Paul Gage (2013). Darwin Knows Best: Can Evolution Support the Classical Liberal Vision of the Family? In Stephen Dilley (ed.), Darwinian Evolution and Classical Liberalism: Theories in Tension. Lexington Books 135-156.
    In a time when conservatives believe that the traditional family is under increasing fire, some think an appeal to Darwinian science may be the answer. I argue that these conservatives are wrong to maintain that Darwinian theory can serve as the intellectual foundation for the traditional conception of the family. Contra Larry Arnhart and James Q. Wilson, a Darwinian philosophy of nature simply lacks the stability the traditional family requires; it cannot support the traditional conception of human nature and the (...)
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  17. Alfred Gierer, Science, Religion and Basic Biological Issues That Are Open to Interpretation.
    This is an English translation of my essay: Alfred Gierer (2009) Wissenschaft, Religion und die deutungsoffenen Grundfragen der Biologie. Mpi for the History of Science, preprint 388, 1-21, also in philpapers. Range and limits of science are given by the universal validity of physical laws, and by intrinsic limitations, especially in self-referential contexts. In particular, neurobiology should not be expected to provide a full understanding of consciousness and the mind. Science cannot provide, by itself, an unambiguous interpretation of the natural (...)
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  18. Alfred Gierer (2009). Wissenschaft, Religion und die deutungsoffenen Grundfragen der Biologie. In preprint series max planck institute for the history os science. Mpi History of Science preprint 388, 1-21.
    The full text of this essay is available in an English translation (also in philpapers) under: Alfred Gierer, Science, religion, and basic biological issues that are open to interpretation. Range and limits of science are given by the universal validity of physical laws, and by intrinsic limitations, especially in self-referential contexts. In particular, neurobiology should not be expected to provide a full understanding of consciousness and the mind. Science cannot provide, by itself, an unambiguous interpretation of the natural order at (...)
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  19. Stephen Jay Gould, Return of the Hopeful Monster.
    ig Brother, the tyrant of George Orwell's 1984, directed his daily Two Minutes Hate against Emmanuel Goldstein, enemy of the people. When I studied evolutionary biology in graduate school during the mid 1960s, official rebuke and derision focused upon Richard Goldschmidt , a famous geneticist who, we were told, had gone astray. Although 1984 creeps up on us, I trust that the world will not be in Big Brother's grip by then. I do, however, predict that during this decade Goldschmidt (...)
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  20. Enrique Guerra-Pujol (2014). The Evolutionary Path of the Law. [REVIEW] Indonesian Journal of International and Comparative Law 1 (3):878-890.
    What lessons can legal scholars learn from the life and work of W. D. "Bill" Hamilton, a lifelong student of nature? From my small corner of the legal Academia, three aspects of Bill Hamilton’s work in evolutionary biology stand out in particular: (i) Hamilton’s simple and beautiful model of social behavior in terms of costs and benefits; (ii) his fruitful collaboration with the political theorist Robert Axelrod and their unexpected yet elegant solution of the Prisoner’s Dilemma, an important game or (...)
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  21. Toby Handfield (forthcoming). Genealogical Explanations of Chance and Morals. In Uri Leibowitz & Neil Sinclair (eds.), Explanation in Ethics and Mathematics. Oxford University Press
    Objective chance and morality are rarely discussed together. In this paper, I argue that there is a surprising similarity in the epistemic standing of our beliefs about both objective chance and objective morality. The key similarity is that both of these sorts of belief are undermined -- in a limited, but important way -- by plausible genealogical accounts of the concepts that feature in these beliefs. The paper presents a brief account of Richard Joyce's evolutionary hypothesis of the genealogy of (...)
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  22. Christopher Hitchcock & Joel D. Velasco (2014). Evolutionary and Newtonian Forces. Ergo, an Open Access Journal of Philosophy 1 (2):39-77.
    A number of recent papers have criticized what they call the dynamical interpretation of evolutionary theory found in Elliott Sober’s The Nature of Selection. Sober argues that we can think of evolutionary theory as a theory of forces analogous to Newtonian mechanics. These critics argue that there are several important disanalogies between evolutionary and Newtonian forces: Unlike evolutionary forces, Newtonian forces can be considered in isolation, they have source laws, they compose causally in a straightforward way, and they are intermediate (...)
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  23. Ulrich Krohs (2005). The Conceptual Basis of a Biological Dispute About the Temporal Order of Evolutionary Events. In Friedrich Stadler & Michael Stölzner (eds.), Time and History. Papers of the 28th International Wittgenstein Symposium. Österr. Ludwig-Wittgenstein-Gesellschaft
    occurs first. The biological debate is conducted largely on a theoretical level. In this paper, I undertake to locate
    the reason for the difference in temporal ordering. The question is whether the difference depends on alternative
    interpretations of empirical data, on differing views about evolutionary mechanisms, or on different conceptual
    frameworks. It will turn out that the latter is the case and that discerning two different notions of novelty solves
    the apparent contradiction. Both concepts may apply to different cases in evolution. To settle the (...)
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  24. Elisabeth A. Lloyd (2006). Response to Puts and Dawood's 'The Evolution of Female Orgasm: Adaptation or Byproduct?'--Been There. Twin Studies and Human Genetics 9 (4).
  25. Elisabeth A. Lloyd (1999). Altruism Revisited. [REVIEW] Quarterly Review of Biology 74 (4):447-449.
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  26. Elisabeth A. Lloyd (1993). Pre-Theoretical Assumptions in Evolutionary Explanations of Female Sexuality. Philosophical Studies 69 (2-3):139-153.
  27. Elisabeth A. Lloyd & Stephen Crowley, Essentialism and Human Nature. Encyclopedia of Life Sciences.
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  28. Elisabeth A. Lloyd & Marcus Feldman (2002). Evolutionary Psychology: A View From Evolutionary Biology. Psychological Inquiry 13 (2).
    Given the recent explosion of interest in applications of evolutionary biology to understanding human psychology, we think it timely to assure better understanding of modern evolutionary theory among the psychologists who might be using it. We find it necessary to do so because of the very reducd version of evolutionary theorizing that has been incorporated into much of evolutionary psychology so far. Our aim here is to clarify why the use of a reduced version of evolutionary genetics will lead to (...)
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  29. James Maclaurin & Tim Cochrane (2013). The Purpose of Progress: A Response to Schubert. Journal of Bioeconomics.
    This article responds to a commentary by Christian Schubert on our 'Evolvability and Progress in Evolutionary Economics'. Our response elaborates the key disagreement between Schubert and us, namely, our views about the purpose of an account of progress in evolutionary economics.
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  30. John Matthewson (2015). Defining Paradigm Darwinian Populations. Philosophy of Science 82 (2):178-197.
    This paper presents an account of the biological populations that can undergo paradigmatic natural selection. I argue for, and develop Peter Godfrey-Smith’s claim that reproductive competition is a core attribute of such populations. However, as Godfrey-Smith notes, it is not the only important attribute. I suggest what the missing element is, co-opting elements of Alan Templeton’s notion of exchangeability. The final framework is then compared to two recent discussions regarding biological populations proposed by Roberta Millstein and Jacob Stegenga.
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  31. Nicholas Maxwell (2010). Darwinian Theory Reinterpreted. In N. Maxwell (ed.), Cutting God in Half - And Putting the Pieces Together Again: A New Approach to Philosophy. Pentire Press 264-300.
    It is argued that purposive action of living things plays a crucial role in Darwinian evolution. As evolution proceeds, the mechanisms of evolution evolve as well, giving an increasingly important role to purposive action - to be understood in a sense which is compatible with physics (the atom of purposiveness being the thermostat). Nine versions of Darwinian theory are distinguished. The first denies that purposive action has any role in evolution at all; each successive version gives an inceasingly important role (...)
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  32. Nicholas Maxwell (1985). Methodological Problems of Neuroscience. In David Rose & Vernon Dobson (eds.), Models of the Visual Cortex. New York: John Wiley & Sons
    In this paper I argue that neuroscience has been harmed by the widespread adoption of seriously inadequate methodologies or philosophies of science - most notably inductivism and falsificationism. I argue that neuroscience, in seeking to understand the human brain and mind, needs to follow in the footsteps of evolution.
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  33. Nicholas Maxwell (1984). The Generalized Darwinian Research Programme. In From Knowledge to Wisdom. Blackwell 269-275.
    The generalized Darwinian research programme accepts physicalism, but holds that all life is purposive in character. It seeks to understand how and why all purposiveness has evolved in the universe – especially purposiveness associated with what we value most in human life, such as sentience, consciousness, person-to-person understanding, science, art, free¬dom, love. As evolution proceeds, the mechanisms of evolution themselves evolve to take into account the increasingly important role that purposive action can play - especially when quasi-Lamarckian evolution by (...)
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  34. Christophe Menant (2015). Biosemiotics, Aboutness, Meaning and Bio-Intentionality. Proposal for an Evolutionary Approach. Dissertation, Biosemiotics Gatherings 2015. Aalborg University Copenhagen
    The management of meaningful information by biological entities is at the core of biosemiotics [Hoffmeyer 2010]. Intentionality, the ‘aboutness’ of mental states, is a key driver in philosophy of mind. Philosophers have been reluctant to use intentionality for non human animals. Some biologists have been in favor of it. J. Hoffmeyer has been using evolutionary intentionality and Peircean semiotics to discuss a biosemiotic approach to the problem of intentionality [Hoffmeyer 1996, 2012]. Also, recent philosophical studies are bringing new openings on (...)
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  35. Erika Milam, Roberta L. Millstein, Angela Potochnik & Joan Roughgarden (2011). Sex and Sensibility: The Role of Social Selection. Metascience 20 (2):253-277.
    Sex and sensibility: The role of social selection Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9464-6 Authors Erika L. Milam, Department of History, University of Maryland, 2115 Francis Scott Key Hall, College Park, MD 20742, USA Roberta L. Millstein, Department of Philosophy, University of California, Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA Angela Potochnik, Department of Philosophy, University of Cincinnati, P.O. Box 210374, Cincinnati, OH 45221, USA Joan E. Roughgarden, Department of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5020, USA Journal Metascience Online (...)
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  36. Roberta L. Millstein (2015). Thinking About Populations and Races in Time. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 52:5-11.
    Biologists and philosophers have offered differing concepts of biological race. That is, they have offered different candidates for what a biological correlate of race might be; for example, races might be subspecies, clades, lineages, ecotypes, or genetic clusters. One thing that is striking about each of these proposals is that they all depend on a concept of population. Indeed, some authors have explicitly characterized races in terms of populations. However, including the concept of population into concepts of race raises three (...)
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  37. Roberta L. Millstein (2014). How the Concept of Population Resolves Concepts of Environment. Philosophy of Science 81 (5):741-755.
    Elsewhere, I defend the “causal interactionist population concept” (CIPC). Here I further defend the CIPC by showing how it clarifies another concept that biologists grapple with, namely, environment. Should we understand selection as ranging only over homogeneous environments or, alternatively, as ranging over any habitat area we choose to study? I argue instead that the boundaries of the population dictate the range of the environment, whether homogeneous or heterogeneous, over which selection operates. Thus, understanding the concept of population helps us (...)
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  38. Roberta L. Millstein (2011). Chances and Causes in Evolutionary Biology: How Many Chances Become One Chance. In P. M. Illari, F. Russo & J. Williamson (eds.), Causality in the Sciences. Oxford University Press 2--425.
    As a number of biologists and philosophers have emphasized, ‘chance’ has multiple meanings in evolutionary biology. Seven have been identified. I will argue that there is a unified concept of chance underlying these seven, which I call the UCC (Unified Chance Concept). I will argue that each is characterized by which causes are consid- ered, ignored, or prohibited. Thus, chance in evolutionary biology can only be under- stood through understanding the causes at work. The UCC aids in comparing the different (...)
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  39. Roberta L. Millstein (2010). A Law by Any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet. [REVIEW] Science 330:1048-1049.
    A review of _Biology’s First Law: The Tendency for Diversity and Complexity to Increase in Evolutionary Systems_, by Daniel W. McShea and Robert N. Brandon. This review argues that the supposed "Zero-Force Evolutionary Law”" (ZFEL) is neither a law nor zero-force.
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  40. Giuseppe Montalenti (1967). Introduzione a Charles Darwin, L'origine delle specie. Boringhieri.
  41. Gerd Muller & Massimo Pigliucci (2011). Extended Synthesis: Theory Expansion or Alternative? Biological Theory 5 (3):275-276.
    A response to Lindsay Craig's essay, The So-Called Extended Synthesis and Population Genetics.
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  42. Didier Newman (ed.) (2013). Bioquestions and the Mechanical Answer. CreateSpace.
    This is a book of questions, some of which are funny whereas many others are more serious, puzzling and disturbing. A different book in which biology is used as a foundation to build a down-to-earth narrative, in the hope of addressing all basic human concerns from a modern, casual and holistic perspective. Thus, an excellent book to question life and death, religions and philosophies, the self and the universe, technology and knowledge, love and sorrow, and so on; in short, questioning (...)
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  43. 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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  44. Mark E. Olson & Alfonso Arroyo-Santos (2015). How to Study Adaptation (and Why to Do It That Way). Quarterly Review of Biology 90 (2):167-191.
    Some adaptationist explanations are regarded as maximally solid and others fanciful just-so stories. Just-so stories are explanations based on very little evidence. Lack of evidence leads to circular-sounding reasoning: “this trait was shaped by selection in unseen ancestral populations and this selection must have occurred because the trait is present.” Well-supported adaptationist explanations include evidence that is not only abundant but selected from comparative, populational, and optimality perspectives, the three adaptationist subdisciplines. Each subdiscipline obtains its broad relevance in evolutionary biology (...)
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  45. Graham Oppy (2008). Paley’s Argument Revisited: Reply to Schupbach. Philosophia Christi 10 (2):443-450.
    This paper is a reply to Jonah Schupbach's critique of a previous paper of mine on Paley's argument for design. (Bibliographical details for earlier publications are available in the paper.).
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  46. Massimo Pigliucci (forthcoming). Teaching Evolution While Aiming at the Cautious Middle. [REVIEW] Science & Education 24:1043-1046.
    As astounding as it sounds, especially to people outside of the USA (and the Middle East, and much of Africa), 13 % of US high school teachers actively advocate creationism and so-called intelligent design theory in their classrooms; another 28 % does the right thing and teaches evolution, but a whopping 60 % falls in the middle: These teachers accept evolutionary theory (though they may be fuzzy on the details), and yet do not teach it in their classrooms, in order (...)
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  47. Massimo Pigliucci (2013). When Science Studies Religion: Six Philosophy Lessons for Science Classes. Science and Education 22 (1):49-67.
    It is an unfortunate fact of academic life that there is a sharp divide between science and philosophy, with scientists often being openly dismissive of philosophy, and philosophers being equally contemptuous of the naivete ́ of scientists when it comes to the philosophical underpinnings of their own discipline. In this paper I explore the possibility of reducing the distance between the two sides by introducing science students to some interesting philosophical aspects of research in evolutionary biology, using biological theories of (...)
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  48. Massimo Pigliucci (2013). The Nature of Evolutionary Biology: At the Borderlands Between Historical and Experimental Science. In Kostas Kampourakis (ed.), The Philosophy of Biology: A Companion for Educators. Springer
    The scientific status of evolutionary theory seems to be more or less perennially under question. I am not referring here (just) to the silliness of young Earth creation- ism (Pigliucci 2002; Boudry and Braeckman 2010), or even of the barely more intel- lectually sophisticated so-called Intelligent Design theory (Recker 2010; Brigandt this volume), but rather to discussions among scientists and philosophers of science concerning the epistemic status of evolutionary theory (Sober 2010). As we shall see in what follows, this debate (...)
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  49. Massimo Pigliucci (2013). Between Holism and Reductionism: A Philosophical Primer on Emergence. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 112 (2):261-267.
    Ever since Darwin a great deal of the conceptual history of biology may be read as a struggle between two philosophical positions: reductionism and holism. On the one hand, we have the reductionist claim that evolution has to be understood in terms of changes at the fundamental causal level of the gene. As Richard Dawkins famously put it, organisms are just ‘lumbering robots’ in the service of their genetic masters. On the other hand, there is a long holistic tradition that (...)
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  50. Massimo Pigliucci (2013). ‘On the Different Ways of ‘‘Doing Theory’’ in Biology‘. Biological Theory 7 (4): 287-297.
    ‘‘Theoretical biology’’ is a surprisingly heter- ogeneous field, partly because it encompasses ‘‘doing the- ory’’ across disciplines as diverse as molecular biology, systematics, ecology, and evolutionary biology. Moreover, it is done in a stunning variety of different ways, using anything from formal analytical models to computer sim- ulations, from graphic representations to verbal arguments. In this essay I survey a number of aspects of what it means to do theoretical biology, and how they compare with the allegedly much more restricted (...)
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