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Philosophy of Biology

Edited by John Wilkins (University of Sydney, University of Melbourne)
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  1. Liliane Bodson (2000). Edited Volumes-Ces Animaux Que l'Homme Choisit D'Inhumer. Contribution a l'Etude de la Place Et du Role de l'Animal Dans Les Rites Funeraires. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 22 (3):454.
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    Developmental Biology
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  2. Lindell Bromham (forthcoming). What is a Gene For? Biology and Philosophy:1-21.
    The word “gene” means different things to different people, and can even be used in multiple ways by the same individual. In this review, I follow a particular thread running through Griffith and Stotz’s “Genetics and Philosophy: an introduction”, which is the way that methods of investigation influence the way we define the concept of “gene”, from nineteen century breeding experiments to twenty-first century big data bioinformatics. These different views lead to a set of gene concepts, which only partially overlap (...)
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  3. Adrian Currie (forthcoming). Marsupial Lions and Methodological Omnivory: Function, Success and Reconstruction in Paleobiology. Biology and Philosophy:1-23.
    Historical scientists frequently face incomplete data, and lack direct experimental access to their targets. This has led some philosophers and scientists to be pessimistic about the epistemic potential of the historical sciences. And yet, historical science often produces plausible, sophisticated hypotheses. I explain this capacity to generate knowledge in the face of apparent evidential scarcity by examining recent work on Thylacoleo carnifex, the ‘marsupial lion’. Here, we see two important methodological features. First, historical scientists are methodological omnivores, that is, they (...)
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  4. Zoubeida R. Dagher & Sibel Erduran (2014). Laws and Explanations in Biology and Chemistry: Philosophical Perspectives and Educational Implications. In Michael R. Matthews (ed.), International Handbook of Research in History, Philosophy and Science Teaching. Springer. 1203-1233.
    This chapter utilises scholarship in philosophy of biology and philosophy of chemistry to produce meaningful implications for biology and chemistry education. The primary purpose for studying philosophical literature is to identify different perspectives on the nature of laws and explanations within these disciplines. The goal is not to resolve ongoing debates about the nature of laws and explanations but to consider their multiple forms and purposes in ways that promote deep and practical understanding of biological and chemical knowledge in educational (...)
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  5. Thomas Heyd (1999). Minding Nature. Dialogue 38 (1):168-170.
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  6. Brad D. Hume (2008). Quantifying Characters: Polygenist Anthropologists and the Hardening of Heredity. [REVIEW] Journal of the History of Biology 41 (1):119 - 158.
    Scholars studying the history of heredity suggest that during the 19th-century biologists and anthropologists viewed characteristics as a collection of blended qualities passed on from the parents. Many argued that those characteristics could be very much affected by environmental circumstances, which scholars call the inheritance of acquired characteristics or "soft" heredity. According to these accounts, Gregor Mendel reconceived heredity - seeing distinct hereditary units that remain unchanged by the environment. This resulted in particular traits that breed true in succeeding generations, (...)
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  7. Catherine Kendig (2014). Hybridity in Agriculture. In Paul B. Thompson & David M. Kaplan (eds.), Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics. Springer.
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  8. Catherine Kendig (2014). Synthetic Biology and Biofuels. In Paul B. Thompson & David M. Kaplan (eds.), Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics. Springer.
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  9. Brian Key (forthcoming). Fish Do Not Feel Pain and its Implications for Understanding Phenomenal Consciousness. Biology and Philosophy:1-17.
    Phenomenal consciousness or the subjective experience of feeling sensory stimuli is fundamental to human existence. Because of the ubiquity of their subjective experiences, humans seem to readily accept the anthropomorphic extension of these mental states to other animals. Humans will typically extrapolate feelings of pain to animals if they respond physiologically and behaviourally to noxious stimuli. The alternative view that fish instead respond to noxious stimuli reflexly and with a limited behavioural repertoire is defended within the context of our current (...)
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  10. Justine Kingsbury (2004). Biologising the Mind. Biology and Philosophy 19 (3):473-482.
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  11. Adam P. Kubiak (2014). A Frequentist Solution to Lindley & Phillips’ Stopping Rule Problem in Ecological Realm. Zagadnienia Naukoznawstwa 50 (2):135-145.
    In this paper I provide a frequentist philosophical-methodological solution for the stopping rule problem presented by Lindley & Phillips in 1976, which is settled in the ecological realm of testing koalas’ sex ratio. I deliver criteria for discerning a stopping rule, an evidence and a model that are epistemically more appropriate for testing the hypothesis of the case studied, by appealing to physical notion of probability and by analyzing the content of possible formulations of evidence, assumptions of models and meaning (...)
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  12. Adam P. Kubiak (2011). Dlaczego umieramy? Wobec pytania o śmieć cielesną - krótko i po chrześcijańsku. Philosophia 31:17-20.
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  13. Wkw Li (2012). O Canada, o Quanta Qualia. Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics 12 (1):1-4.
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  14. William F. Martin (forthcoming). Big Questions and Skepsis: Review of “In Search of Cell History. [REVIEW] Bioessays:n/a-n/a.
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  15. Lucas J. Mix (2014). Proper Activity, Preference, and the Meaning of Life. Philosophy and Theory in Biology 6.
    The primary challenge for generating a useful scientific definition of life comes from competing concepts of biological activity and our failure to make them explicit in our models. I set forth a three-part scheme for characterizing definitions of life, identifying a binary , a range , and a preference . The three components together form a proper activity in biology . To be clear, I am not proposing that proper activity be adopted as the best definition of life or even (...)
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  16. T. Pradeu (forthcoming). Toolbox Murders: Putting Genes in Their Epigenetic and Ecological Contexts. Biology and Philosophy:1-18.
    Griffiths and Stotz’s Genetics and Philosophy: An Introduction offers a very good overview of scientific and philosophical issues raised by present-day genetics. Examining, in particular, the questions of how a “gene” should be defined and what a gene does from a causal point of view, the authors explore the different domains of the life sciences in which genetics has come to play a decisive role, from Mendelian genetics to molecular genetics, behavioural genetics, and evolution. In this review, I highlight what (...)
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  17. Alexander Rosenberg (1986). Causation and Explanation In. Behaviorism 14 (1):77-88.
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  18. William A. Rottschaefer (1990). Review: Beyond the Neo-Darwinian Synthesis. [REVIEW] Behavior and Philosophy 18 (2):79 - 84.
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  19. William A. Rottschaefer (1985). Biology and Philosophy in Fruitful. Behaviorism 13 (2):187-190.
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  20. Daniel Shargel (forthcoming). Emotions Without Objects. Biology and Philosophy:1-14.
    It is widely assumed that emotions have particular intentional objects. This assumption is consistent with the way that we talk: when we attribute states of anger, we often attribute anger at someone, or at something. It is also consistent with leading theories of emotion among philosophers and psychologists, according to which emotions are like judgments or appraisals. However, there is evidence from the social psychology literature suggesting that this assumption is actually false. I will begin by presenting a criterion for (...)
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  21. Abner Shimony (1993). Search for a Naturalistic Worldview, Volume 2: Natural Science and Metaphysics. Cambridge University Press.
    Table of Contents: Acknowledgements; Preface; 1. Integral epistemology; 2. Reality, causality and closing the circle; 3. Search for a world view that can accommodate our knowledge of microphysics; 4. Perception from an evolutionary point of view; 5. Is observation theory-laden? A problem in naturalistic epistemology; 6. Coherence and the axioms of confirmation; 7. An adamite derivation of the principles of the calculus of probability; 8. The status of the principle of maximum entropy; 9. Scientific inference; 10. Reconsiderations on inductive logic; (...)
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  22. Elliott Sober (1986). Comments on Rosenberg's Review. Behaviorism 14 (1):89-96.
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  23. Lori Stevens (2000). Experimental Studies of Group Selection: A Genetical Perspective. Journal of Consciousness Studies 7 (1-2):1-2.
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  24. B. Thierry (2000). Group Sanctions Without Social Norms? Journal of Consciousness Studies 7 (1-2):1-2.
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  25. Robert C. Trundle (1994). Quantum Fluctuation, Self-Organizing Biological Systems, and Human Freedom. Idealistic Studies 24 (3):269-281.
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  26. J. Tuszynski (ed.) (2006). The Emerging Physics of Consciousness. Springer-Verlag.
    Consciousness remains one of the major unsolved problems in science. How do the feelings and sensations making up conscious experience arise from the concerted actions of nerve cells and their associated synaptic and molecular processes? Can such feelings be explained by modern science, or is there an entirely different kind of explanation needed? And how can this seemingly intractable problem be approached experimentally? How do the operations of the conscious mind emerge out of the specific interactions involving billions of neurons? (...)
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