David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Acta Biotheoretica 57 (1-2):11-32 (2009)
Dobzhansky argued that biology only makes sense if life on earth has a shared history. But his dictum is often reinterpreted to mean that biology only makes sense in the light of adaptation. Some philosophers of science have argued in this spirit that all work in ‘proximal’ biosciences such as anatomy, physiology and molecular biology must be framed, at least implicitly, by the selection histories of the organisms under study. Others have denied this and have proposed non-evolutionary ways in which biologists can frame these investigations. This paper argues that an evolutionary perspective is indeed necessary, but that it must be a forward-looking perspective informed by a general understanding of the evolutionary process, not a backward-looking perspective informed by the specific evolutionary history of the species being studied. Interestingly, it turns out that there are aspects of proximal biology that even a creationist cannot study except in the light of a theory of their effect on future evolution
|Keywords||Philosophy Evolutionary Biology Philosophy of Biology|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Peter Godfrey-Smith (1994). A Modern History Theory of Functions. Noûs 28 (3):344-362.
Gerhard Schlosser (1998). Self-Re-Production and Functionality. Synthese 116 (3):303-354.
Arno G. Wouters (2007). Design Explanation: Determining the Constraints on What Can Be Alive. [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 67 (1):65-80.
Arno Wouters (2005). The Functional Perspective of Organismal Biology. In Thomas Reydon & Lia Hemerik (eds.), Current Themes in Theoretical Biology. Springer 33--69.
Benoni B. Edin (2008). Assigning Biological Functions: Making Sense of Causal Chains. Synthese 161 (2):203-218.
Citations of this work BETA
Adam Hochman (2013). The Phylogeny Fallacy and the Ontogeny Fallacy. Biology and Philosophy 28 (4):593-612.
Thomas Pradeu (2011). A Mixed Self: The Role of Symbiosis in Development. Biological Theory 6 (1):80-88.
Paul E. Griffiths & John Matthewson (forthcoming). Evolution, Dysfunction, and Disease: A Reappraisal: Table 1. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axw021.
Thomas Pradeu, Lucie Laplane, Michel Morange, Antonine Nicoglou & Michel Vervoort (2011). The Boundaries of Development. Biological Theory 6 (1):1 - 3.
Pierre-Olivier Méthot (2011). Research Traditions and Evolutionary Explanations in Medicine. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 32 (1):75-90.
Similar books and articles
Bradley E. Wilson (1996). Changing Conceptions of Species. Biology and Philosophy 11 (3):405-420.
Franz M. Wuketits (1986). Evolution as a Cognition Process: Towards an Evolutionary Epistemology. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 1 (2):191-206.
Mohan Matthen & Andre Ariew (2005). How to Understand Casual Relations in Natural Selection: Reply to Rosenberg and Bouchard. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 20 (2-3):355-364.
Timothy Shanahan (2004). The Evolution of Darwinism: Selection, Adaptation, and Progress in Evolutionary Biology. Cambridge University Press.
Lindell Bromham (2009). Does Nothing in Evolution Make Sense Except in the Light of Population Genetics? Biology and Philosophy 24 (3):387-403.
Wim J. Steen (1983). Methodological Problems in Evolutionary Biology I. Testability and Tautologies. Acta Biotheoretica 32 (3).
Cameron Shelley (1999). Preadaptation and the Explanation of Human Evolution. Biology and Philosophy 14 (1):65-82.
David Young (2007). The Discovery of Evolution. Cambridge University Press, in Association with Natural History Museum, London.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads69 ( #69,341 of 1,932,583 )
Recent downloads (6 months)7 ( #132,799 of 1,932,583 )
How can I increase my downloads?