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Philosophy of Biology

Edited by John Wilkins (University of Sydney, University of Melbourne)
Assistant editor: Justin Bzovy (University of Western Ontario)
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  1. added 2015-04-25
    Paul B. Thompson & Monica List (2015). Ebola Needs One Bioethics. Ethics, Policy and Environment 18 (1):96-102.
    Bioethics coverage of the recent Ebola outbreak neglected the ethical issues associated with aspects of the outbreak having environmental significance. The neglect of environmental dimensions is symptomatic of the way that the current institutionalization of bioethics as a field of inquiry separates medical and environmental expertise. As visionaries who are recognizing the need for better integration of human and veterinary medicine with environmental health are starting to call for “One Health”, it is now time to recognize the need for “One (...)
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  2. added 2015-04-25
    Allen Habib (2015). Biodiversity and Values in Science. Ethics, Policy and Environment 18 (1):30-33.
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  3. added 2015-04-25
    Markku Oksanen (2015). Whose Biodiversity is In Trouble? A Commentary on Morar Et Al. Ethics, Policy and Environment 18 (1):38-40.
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  4. added 2015-04-25
    Makoto Suzuki (2015). Climate Matters: Ethics in a Warming World. Ethics, Policy and Environment 18 (1):106-109.
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  5. added 2015-04-25
    Christopher H. Eliot (2015). Biodiversity as a General, Scientific Concept. Ethics, Policy and Environment 18 (1):41-43.
    Morar et al. argue that justifications for conservation based on assessments of biodiversity are vacuous, because ‘biodiversity’ is a flawed concept. However, their analysis of the concept mistakes how scientific concepts function. The concept ‘biodiversity’ stands up to their criticisms.
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  6. added 2015-04-25
    Clement Loo, Helen Poulos, James Workman, Annie deBoer & Julia Michaels (2015). How Much is a Healthy River Worth? The Value of Recreation-Based Tourism in the Connecticut River Watershed. Ethics, Policy and Environment 18 (1):44-59.
    Data about flow rate, fishing intensity, and expenditures made by anglers can be used to capture some of the recreational value of waterways in economic terms in a way that avoids a number of the weaknesses of the most commonly used tools such as the contingent valuation method. Furthermore, recreational fishing may spur more economic activity than competing uses of riverine flows such as agriculture. This suggests that potential opportunity cost in regards to recreation ought to be a factor considered (...)
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  7. added 2015-04-25
    Udo Pesch (2015). Publicness, Privateness, and the Management of Pollution. Ethics, Policy and Environment 18 (1):79-95.
    The way pollution is managed in Western countries is based on the preservation of the taboo character of waste, which is conceived to be privately produced and seen as a threat to public health. Public authorities have been given the responsibility to isolate waste and hide it from public eyes. However, this dominant approach is challenged by the emergence of new forms of pollution. New conceptual and policy frameworks to manage environmental degradation have to be developed. The prevailing institutional structures, (...)
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  8. added 2015-04-25
    Matthew Butkus (2015). All Health is Local: Biodiversity, Ethics, and Human Health. Ethics, Policy and Environment 18 (1):1-15.
    It is reasonable to assume that future generations will have the same concerns we have about combating disease and illness. Natural compounds have historically been potent sources of medications. Current synthetic identification and production processes are not generating the volume of novel medications predicted, which has prompted a call to return to diverse natural sources. Biodiversity loss threatens our ability to fight off current and future infections by removing powerful potential sources of biologically active compounds needed to spur medication development (...)
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  9. added 2015-04-25
    Lisa Kretz (2015). Commentary on Matthew Butkus' ‘Biodiversity, Ethics, and Human Health. Ethics, Policy and Environment 18 (1):34-37.
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  10. added 2015-04-25
    Markku Oksanen (2015). What's So Good About Biodiversity? A Call for Better Reasoning About Nature's Value. Ethics, Policy and Environment 18 (1):109-112.
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  11. added 2015-04-25
    Toby Svoboda & Peter Irvine (2015). Response to Commentaries on ‘Ethical and Technical Challenges in Compensating for Harm Due to Solar Radiation Management Geoengineering. Ethics, Policy and Environment 18 (1):103-105.
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  12. added 2015-04-25
    Sonia Graham (2015). Climate Change, Ethics and Human Security. Ethics, Policy and Environment 18 (1):112-115.
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  13. added 2015-04-22
    Jonathan Birch (forthcoming). Natural Selection and the Maximization of Fitness. Biological Reviews.
    The notion that natural selection is a process of fitness maximization gets a bad press in population genetics, yet in other areas of biology the view that organisms behave as if attempting to maximize their fitness remains widespread. Here I critically appraise the prospects for reconciliation. I first distinguish four varieties of fitness maximization. I then examine two recent developments that may appear to vindicate at least one of these varieties. The first is the ‘new’ interpretation of Fisher's fundamental theorem (...)
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  14. added 2015-04-17
    Robert A. Wilson, Sociobiology. Eugenics Archives.
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  15. added 2015-04-17
    Robert A. Wilson, Eugenics: Positive Vs Negative. Eugenics Archives.
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  16. added 2015-04-17
    Robert A. Wilson, Science, Role Of. Eugenics Archives.
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  17. added 2015-04-17
    Robert A. Wilson, Eugenic Traits. Eugenics Archives.
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  18. added 2015-04-16
    Peter Bell (1951). "The Natural Philosophy of Plant Form." By Agnes Arber. [REVIEW] British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 1 (4):336.
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  19. added 2015-04-14
    Russell L. Ackoff & Fred E. Emery (1976). On Purposeful Systems. Philosophy of Science 43 (3):456-458.
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  20. added 2015-04-13
    Dana Matthiessen (forthcoming). Mechanistic Explanation in Systems Biology: Cellular Networks. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axv011.
    It is argued that once biological systems reach a certain level of complexity, mechanistic explanations provide an inadequate account of many relevant phenomena. In this article, I evaluate such claims with respect to a representative programme in systems biological research: the study of regulatory networks within single-celled organisms. I argue that these networks are amenable to mechanistic philosophy without need to appeal to some alternate form of explanation. In particular, I claim that we can understand the mathematical modelling techniques of (...)
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  21. added 2015-04-13
    Lynn Chiu & Scott F. Gilbert (forthcoming). The Birth of the Holobiont: Multi-Species Birthing Through Mutual Scaffolding and Niche Construction. Biosemiotics:1-20.
    Holobionts are multicellular eukaryotes with multiple species of persistent symbionts. They are not individuals in the genetic sense— composed of and regulated by the same genome—but they are anatomical, physiological, developmental, immunological, and evolutionary units, evolved from a shared relationship between different species. We argue that many of the interactions between human and microbiota symbionts and the reproductive process of a new holobiont are best understood as instances of reciprocal scaffolding of developmental processes and mutual construction of developmental, ecological, and (...)
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  22. added 2015-04-11
    Marco Solinas (2015). From Aristotle’s Teleology to Darwin’s Genealogy: The Stamp of Inutility, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. Palgrave Macmillan.
    Starting with Aristotle and moving on to Darwin, Marco Solinas outlines the basic steps from the birth, establishment and later rebirth of the traditional view of living beings, and its overturning by evolutionary revolution. The classic framework devised by Aristotle was still dominant in the 17th Century world of Galileo, Harvey and Ray, and remained hegemonic until the time of Lamarck and Cuvier in the 19th Century. Darwin's breakthrough thus takes on the dimensions of an abandonment of the traditional finalistic (...)
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  23. added 2015-04-08
    Ronald J. Planer (forthcoming). On the Free-Rider Identification Problem. Biological Theory.
    Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis have argued that individual-selection accounts of human cooperation flounder in the face of the free-rider identification problem. Kim Sterelny has responded to this line of argument for group selection, arguing that the free-rider identification problem in fact poses no theoretical difficulty for individual-selection accounts. In this article, I set out to clarify Bowles and Gintis’ argument. As I see matters, the real crux of their argument is this: solving the free-rider identification problem, even in modestly (...)
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  24. added 2015-04-07
    Patrick Forber & Rory Smead (forthcoming). Evolution and the Classification of Social Behavior. Biology and Philosophy:1-17.
    Recent studies in the evolution of cooperation have shifted focus from altruistic to mutualistic cooperation. This change in focus is purported to reveal new explanations for the evolution of prosocial behavior. We argue that the common classification scheme for social behavior used to distinguish between altruistic and mutualistic cooperation is flawed because it fails to take into account dynamically relevant game-theoretic features. This leads some arguments about the evolution of cooperation to conflate dynamical scenarios that differ regarding the basic conditions (...)
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  25. added 2015-04-07
    Steve Stewart-Williams (2015). On the Origin of Afterlife Beliefs by Means of Memetic Selection. In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield.
    Somewhere in the mists of the past, we somehow picked up the idea of an afterlife from our culture. So, where did this idea come from in the first place? The problem is not that there aren’t any plausible theories to explain it; the problem is that there are too many. Some claim that the belief in an afterlife is wishful thinking; others that it’s a way of encouraging socially desirable behavior; and others still that it represents ancient people’s best (...)
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  26. added 2015-04-06
    Manuel Wörsdörfer (forthcoming). Animal Behavioural Economics': Lessons Learnt From Primate Research. Economic Thought.
    The paper gives an overview of primate research and the economic-ethical 'lessons' we can derive from it. In particular, it examines the complex, multi-faceted and partially conflicting nature of human primates. Our closest living relatives, the chimpanzees and bonobos, apparently walk on two legs: a selfish and a groupish leg. Given evolutionary continuity and gradualism between monkeys, apes and humans, human primates seem to be bipolar apes as well. They, too, tend to display a dual structure: there seems to be (...)
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  27. added 2015-04-06
    William Vance Trollinger Jr (forthcoming). Biology Textbooks and the Decentering of the Scopes Trial. Metascience:1-4.
    I taught for 8 years at a moderate evangelical liberal arts college. At one faculty meeting the topic turned to the challenge of dealing with controversial topics in the classroom, a pressing question given that many of our students came from extremely conservative backgrounds. One faculty member commented that he and his colleagues in the sciences avoided problems by never using the word “evolution” in the classroom. A number of us from the humanities immediately expressed shock and dismay. In response, (...)
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  28. added 2015-04-06
    Lynda Gaudemard (forthcoming). Disposition and Latent Teleology in Descartes’s Philosophy in Advance. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly.
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  29. added 2015-04-06
    James P. Collins (2015). Commentary: Tempo of Evolutionary Change in Ecological Systems. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 50:80-82.
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  30. added 2015-04-06
    Antonine Nicoglou (2015). The Evolution of Phenotypic Plasticity: Genealogy of a Debate in Genetics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 50:67-76.
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  31. added 2015-04-06
    B. R. Erick Peirson (2015). Plasticity, Stability, and Yield: The Origins of Anthony David Bradshaw's Model of Adaptive Phenotypic Plasticity. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 50:51-66.
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  32. added 2015-04-06
    Phillip Honenberger (2015). Grene and Hull on Types and Typological Thinking in Biology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 50:13-25.
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  33. added 2015-04-06
    Cristina Moya & Robert Boyd (2015). Different Selection Pressures Give Rise to Distinct Ethnic Phenomena. Human Nature 26 (1):1-27.
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  34. added 2015-04-06
    David P. D. Munns (2015). The Phytotronist and the Phenotype: Plant Physiology, Big Science, and a Cold War Biology of the Whole Plant. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 50:29-40.
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  35. added 2015-04-06
    Andrew Bednarski (2015). Global Scientific Dialogues: Darwin in Other Languages. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 50:87-89.
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  36. added 2015-04-06
    Marci R. Baranski (2015). Wide Adaptation of Green Revolution Wheat: International Roots and the Indian Context of a New Plant Breeding Ideal, 1960–1970. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 50:41-50.
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  37. added 2015-04-06
    S. Simon & M. de Goede (2015). Cybersecurity, Bureaucratic Vitalism and European Emergency. Theory, Culture and Society 32 (2):79-106.
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  38. added 2015-04-06
    Veronica Vasterling (2014). Fear of Old Age Comment on Linda Fisher Comment on Linda Fisher. In Silvia Stoller (ed.), Simone de Beauvoir's Philosophy of Age: Gender, Ethics, and Time. De Gruyter. 123-126.
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  39. added 2015-04-06
    Hannah Ginsborg (2014). Oughts Without Intentions: A Kantian Approach to Biological Functions. In Eric Watkins & Ina Goy (eds.), Kant's Theory of Biology. De Gruyter. 259-274.
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  40. added 2015-04-06
    Siegfried Roth (2014). Kant, Polanyi, and Molecular Biology. In Eric Watkins & Ina Goy (eds.), Kant's Theory of Biology. De Gruyter. 275-292.
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  41. added 2015-04-06
    Paul Weingartner (2014). 7. Whether There is Teleological Order in Living Things? In , Nature's Teleological Order and God's Providence: Are They Compatible with Chance, Free Will, and Evil? De Gruyter. 62-77.
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  42. added 2015-04-06
    Courtney D. Fugate (2014). Chapter 2 Teleology: Rudiments of a Theory. In , The Teleology of Reason: A Study of the Structure of Kant's Critical Philosophy. De Gruyter. 57-108.
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  43. added 2015-04-06
    Paul Weingartner (2014). 5. Whether There is Teleological Order in Non-Living Things? In , Nature's Teleological Order and God's Providence: Are They Compatible with Chance, Free Will, and Evil? De Gruyter. 31-45.
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  44. added 2015-04-06
    Larry Lee Blackman (2013). Kant and Dembski on Intelligent Design, Artistic Wisdom, and the Problem of Theodicy. In Margit Ruffing, Claudio La Rocca, Alfredo Ferrarin & Stefano Bacin (eds.), Kant Und Die Philosophie in Weltbürgerlicher Absicht: Akten des Xi. Kant-Kongresses 2010. De Gruyter. 823-834.
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  45. added 2015-04-06
    Angela Breitenbach (2013). Kant on Biology and the Experience of Life. In Margit Ruffing, Claudio La Rocca, Alfredo Ferrarin & Stefano Bacin (eds.), Kant Und Die Philosophie in Weltbürgerlicher Absicht: Akten des Xi. Kant-Kongresses 2010. De Gruyter. 19-30.
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  46. added 2015-04-06
    Roberto de Andrade Martins (2012). A Origem Dos Pombos Domésticos Na Estratégia Argumentativa de Darwin. Filosofia E Hist’Oria da Biologia 7 (1):91-116.
    In the first chapter of the Origin of species and in two chapters of the Variation of animals and plants under domestication, Darwin discusses the origin of domestic pigeons, claiming that all the known breeds were produced from a single species: Columba livia, the rock pigeon. The detailed defense of this point is of high relevance in Darwin’s argumentation strategy, since the differences between the several domestic breeds is so large that, if they were found in the wild, they could (...)
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  47. added 2015-04-06
    Justin E. H. Smith (2011). Chapter Seven. The Nature And Boundaries Of Biological Species. In , Divine Machines: Leibniz and the Sciences of Life. Princeton University Press. 235-274.
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  48. added 2015-04-06
    Andreas Urs Sommer (2011). Große Menschen Züchten? Nietzsche Anti Darwin. In Konstanze Schwarzwald & Volker Caysa (eds.), Nietzsche - Macht - Größe: Nietzsche - Philosoph der Größe der Macht Oder der Macht der Größe. De Gruyter. 171-188.
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  49. added 2015-04-06
    Roberto de Andrade Martins (2010). El Empleo de Retórica En la Controversia Entre Weismann y Spencer Acerca de la Selección Natural y El Efecto de Uso y Desuso. In Roberto de Andrade Martins, Lucía Lewowicz, Juliana Mesquita Hidalgo Ferreira, Cibelle Celestino Silva & Lilian Al-Chueyr Pereira Martins (eds.), Filosofia e História da Ciência no Cone Sul. Seleção de Trabalhos do 6º Encontro. Associação de Filosofia e História da Ciência do Cone Sul, AFHIC. 533-539.
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  50. added 2015-04-06
    John M. Cooper (2009). CHAPTER 5. Aristotle on Natural Teleology. In , Knowledge, Nature, and the Good: Essays on Ancient Philosophy. Princeton University Press. 107-129.
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