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Profile: Alan Love (University of Minnesota)
  1.  15
    Ingo Brigandt & Alan C. Love (2012). Conceptualizing Evolutionary Novelty: Moving Beyond Definitional Debates. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution 318:417-427.
    According to many biologists, explaining the evolution of morphological novelty and behavioral innovation are central endeavors in contemporary evolutionary biology. These endeavors are inherently multidisciplinary but also have involved a high degree of controversy. One key source of controversy is the definitional diversity associated with the concept of evolutionary novelty, which can lead to contradictory claims (a novel trait according to one definition is not a novel trait according to another). We argue that this diversity should be interpreted in light (...)
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  2.  8
    Alan C. Love & Gary L. Lugar (2013). Dimensions of Integration in Interdisciplinary Explanations of the Origin of Evolutionary Novelty. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):537-550.
    Many philosophers of biology have embraced a version of pluralism in response to the failure of theory reduction but overlook how concepts, methods, and explanatory resources are in fact coordinated, such as in interdisciplinary research where the aim is to integrate different strands into an articulated whole. This is observable for the origin of evolutionary novelty—a complex problem that requires a synthesis of intellectual resources from different fields to arrive at robust answers to multiple allied questions. It is an apt (...)
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  3.  21
    Alan C. Love (2013). Erratum To: Theory is as Theory Does: Scientific Practice and Theory Structure in Biology. [REVIEW] Biological Theory 7 (4):430 - 430.
    Using the context of controversies surrounding evolutionary developmental biology (EvoDevo) and the possibility of an Extended Evolutionary Synthesis, I provide an account of theory structure as idealized theory presentations that are always incomplete (partial) and shaped by their conceptual content (material rather than formal organization). These two characteristics are salient because the goals that organize and regulate scientific practice, including the activity of using a theory, are heterogeneous. This means that the same theory can be structured differently, in part because (...)
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  4.  51
    Alan C. Love (2008). Explaining Evolutionary Innovations and Novelties: Criteria of Explanatory Adequacy and Epistemological Prerequisites. Philosophy of Science 75 (5):874-886.
    It is a common complaint that antireductionist arguments are primarily negative. Here I describe an alternative nonreductionist epistemology based on considerations taken from multidisciplinary research in biology. The core of this framework consists in seeing investigation as coordinated around sets of problems (problem agendas) that have associated criteria of explanatory adequacy. These ideas are developed in a case study, the explanation of evolutionary innovations and novelties, which demonstrates the applicability and fruitfulness of this nonreductionist epistemological perspective. This account also bears (...)
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  5. Alan C. Love & Andreas Hüttemann (2011). COMPARING PART-WHOLE REDUCTIVE EXPLANATIONS IN BIOLOGY AND PHYSICS. In Dennis Dieks, Wenceslao Gonzalo, Thomas Uebel, Stephan Hartmann & Marcel Weber (eds.), Explanation, Prediction, and Confirmation. Springer 183--202.
    Many biologists and philosophers have worried that importing models of reasoning from the physical sciences obscures our understanding of reasoning in the life sciences. In this paper we discuss one example that partially validates this concern: part-whole reductive explanations. Biology and physics tend to incorporate different models of temporality in part-whole reductive explanations. This results from differential emphases on compositional and causal facets of reductive explanations, which have not been distinguished reliably in prior philosophical analyses. Keeping these two facets distinct (...)
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  6.  90
    Andreas Hüttemann & Alan C. Love (2011). Aspects of Reductive Explanation in Biological Science: Intrinsicality, Fundamentality, and Temporality. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (3):519-549.
    The inapplicability of variations on theory reduction in the context of genetics and their irrelevance to ongoing research has led to an anti-reductionist consensus in philosophy of biology. One response to this situation is to focus on forms of reductive explanation that better correspond to actual scientific reasoning (e.g. part–whole relations). Working from this perspective, we explore three different aspects (intrinsicality, fundamentality, and temporality) that arise from distinct facets of reductive explanation: composition and causation. Concentrating on these aspects generates new (...)
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  7.  61
    Alan C. Love (2007). Functional Homology and Homology of Function: Biological Concepts and Philosophical Consequences. Biology and Philosophy 22 (5):691-708.
    “Functional homology” appears regularly in different areas of biological research and yet it is apparently a contradiction in terms—homology concerns identity of structure regardless of form and function. I argue that despite this conceptual tension there is a legitimate conception of ‘homology of function’, which can be recovered by utilizing a distinction from pre-Darwinian physiology (use versus activity) to identify an appropriate meaning of ‘function’. This account is directly applicable to molecular developmental biology and shares a connection to the theme (...)
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  8. Alan C. Love (2013). Experiments, Intuitions and Images of Philosophy and Science. Analysis 73 (4):785-797.
    According to Joshua Alexander, philosophers use intuitions routinely as a form of evidence to test philosophical theories but experimental philosophy demonstrates that these intuitions are unreliable and unrepresentative.1 According to Herman Cappelen, philosophers never use intuitions as evidence (despite the vacuous sentential leader ‘intuitively’) and experimental philosophy lacks a rationale for its much-touted existence.2 That two books are diametrically opposed on methodology in philosophy is not noteworthy. But eyebrows might be raised at such contradictory accounts of the phenomenology of philosophical (...)
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  9.  45
    Alan C. Love (2003). Evolutionary Morphology, Innovation, and the Synthesis of Evolutionary and Developmental Biology. Biology and Philosophy 18 (2):309-345.
    One foundational question in contemporarybiology is how to `rejoin evolution anddevelopment. The emerging research program(evolutionary developmental biology or`evo-devo) requires a meshing of disciplines,concepts, and explanations that have beendeveloped largely in independence over the pastcentury. In the attempt to comprehend thepresent separation between evolution anddevelopment much attention has been paid to thesplit between genetics and embryology in theearly part of the 20th century with itscodification in the exclusion of embryologyfrom the Modern Synthesis. This encourages acharacterization of evolutionary developmentalbiology as the marriage (...)
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  10.  8
    Alan C. Love & Marco J. Nathan (2015). The Idealization of Causation in Mechanistic Explanation. Philosophy of Science 82 (5):761-774.
    Causal relations among components and activities are intentionally misrepresented in mechanistic explanations found routinely across the life sciences. Since several mechanists explicitly advocate accurately representing factors that make a difference to the outcome, these idealizations conflict with the stated rationale for mechanistic explanation. We argue that these idealizations signal an overlooked feature of reasoning in molecular and cell biology—mechanistic explanations do not occur in isolation—and suggest that explanatory practices within the mechanistic tradition share commonalities with model-based approaches prevalent in population (...)
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  11.  31
    Maureen O'Malley, Ingo Brigandt, Alan C. Love, John W. Crawford, Jack A. Gilbert, Rob Knight, Sandra D. Mitchell & Forest Rohwer (2014). Multilevel Research Strategies and Biological Systems. Philosophy of Science 81 (5):811-828.
    Multilevel research strategies characterize contemporary molecular inquiry into biological systems. We outline conceptual, methodological, and explanatory dimensions of these multilevel strategies in microbial ecology, systems biology, protein research, and developmental biology. This review of emerging lines of inquiry in these fields suggests that multilevel research in molecular life sciences has significant implications for philosophical understandings of explanation, modeling, and representation.
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  12.  8
    Alan C. Love & Michael Travisano (2013). Microbes Modeling Ontogeny. Biology and Philosophy 28 (2):161-188.
    Model organisms are central to contemporary biology and studies of embryogenesis in particular. Biologists utilize only a small number of species to experimentally elucidate the phenomena and mechanisms of development. Critics have questioned whether these experimental models are good representatives of their targets because of the inherent biases involved in their selection (e.g., rapid development and short generation time). A standard response is that the manipulative molecular techniques available for experimental analysis mitigate, if not counterbalance, this concern. But the most (...)
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  13.  10
    Alan C. Love (2015). ChINs, Swarms, and Variational Modalities: Concepts in the Service of an Evolutionary Research Program. Biology and Philosophy 30 (6):873-888.
    Günter Wagner’s Homology, Genes, and Evolutionary Innovation collects and synthesizes a vast array of empirical data, theoretical models, and conceptual analysis to set out a progressive research program with a central theoretical commitment: the genetic theory of homology. This research program diverges from standard approaches in evolutionary biology, provides sharpened contours to explanations of the origin of novelty, and expands the conceptual repertoire of evolutionary developmental biology. I concentrate on four aspects of the book in this essay review: the genetic (...)
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  14.  8
    Alan C. Love & Ingo Brigandt (forthcoming). Philosophical Dimensions of Individuality. In Scott Lidgard & Lynn K. Nyhart (eds.), Biological Individuality: Integrating Scientific, Philosophical, and Historical Perspectives. University of Chicago Press
    Although natural philosophers have long been interested in individuality, it has been of interest to contemporary philosophers of biology because of its role in different aspects of evolutionary biology. These debates include whether species are individuals or classes, what counts as a unit of selection, and how transitions in individuality occur evolutionarily. Philosophical analyses are often conducted in terms of metaphysics (“what is an individual?”), rather than epistemology (“how can and do researchers conceptualize individuals so as to address some of (...)
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  15.  31
    Alan C. Love (2010). Formal and Material Theories in Philosophy of Science: A Methodological Interpretation. In Henk W. de Regt (ed.), Epsa Philosophy of Science: Amsterdam 2009. Springer 175--185.
    John Norton’s argument that all formal theories of induction fail raises substantive questions about the philosophical analysis of scientific reasoning. What are the criteria of adequacy for philosophical theories of induction, explanation, or theory structure? Is more than one adequate theory possible? Using a generalized version of Norton’s argument, I demonstrate that the competition between formal and material theories in philosophy of science results from adhering to different criteria of adequacy. This situation encourages an interpretation of “formal” and “material” as (...)
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  16.  18
    Alan C. Love (2003). Evolvability, Dispositions, and Intrinsicality. Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1015-1027.
    In this paper I examine a dispositional property that has been receiving increased attention in biology, evolvability. First, I identify three compatible but distinct investigative approaches, distinguish two interpretations of evolvability, and treat the difference between dispositions of individuals versus populations. Second, I explore the relevance of philosophical distinctions about dispositions for evolvability, isolating the assumption that dispositions are intrinsically located. I conclude that some instances of evolvability cannot be understood as purely intrinsic to populations and suggest alternative strategies for (...)
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  17.  25
    Alan C. Love (2003). Evolvability, Dispositions, and Intrinsicality. Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1015-1027.
    In this paper I examine a dispositional property that has been receiving increased attention in biology, evolvability. First, I identify three compatible but distinct investigative approaches, distinguish two interpretations of evolvability, and treat the difference between dispositions of individuals versus populations. Second, I explore the relevance of philosophical distinctions about dispositions for evolvability, isolating the assumption that dispositions are intrinsically located. In conclusion, I argue that some instances of evolvability cannot be understood as purely intrinsic to populations and suggest alternative (...)
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  18.  7
    Alan C. Love (2002). Darwin and "Cirripedia" Prior to 1846: Exploring the Origins of the Barnacle Research. [REVIEW] Journal of the History of Biology 35 (2):251-289.
    Phillip Sloan has thoroughly documented the importance of Darwin's general invertebrate research program in the period from 1826 to 1836 and demonstrated how it had an impact on his conversion to transformism. Although Darwin later spent eight years of his life investigating barnacles, this period has received less treatment in studies of Darwin and the development of his thought. The most prominent question for the barnacle period that has been attended to is why Darwin "delayed" in publishing his theory of (...)
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  19.  9
    Alan C. Love (2006). Reflections on the Middle Stages of EvoDevo's Ontogeny. Biological Theory 1 (1):94-97.
  20.  8
    Alan C. Love (2015). Collaborative Explanation, Explanatory Roles, and Scientific Explaining in Practice. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 52:88-94.
    Scientific explanation is a perennial topic in philosophy of science, but the literature has fragmented into specialized discussions in different scientific disciplines. An increasing attention to scientific practice by philosophers is (in part) responsible for this fragmentation and has put pressure on criteria of adequacy for philosophical accounts of explanation, usually demanding some form of pluralism. This commentary examines the arguments offered by Fagan and Woody with respect to explanation and understanding in scientific practice. I begin by scrutinizing Fagan's concept (...)
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  21.  26
    Alan C. Love (2006). Taking Development Seriously: Who, What, When, Where, Why, How? [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 21 (4):575-589.
  22.  14
    Alan C. Love (2011). Philosophical Lessons From Scientific Biography. Philosophy of Science 78 (4):696-701.
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  23.  10
    Alan C. Love, Ingo Brigandt, Karola Stotz, Daniel Schweitzer & Alexander Rosenberg (2008). More Worry and Less Love? Metascience 17 (1):1-26.
    Review symposium of Alexander Rosenberg’s Darwinian Reductionism: Or, How to Stop Worrying and Love Molecular Biology [2006].
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  24.  14
    Alan C. Love (2011). Philosophical Lessons From Scientific Biography* Robert J. Richards , The Tragic Sense of Life: Ernst Haeckel and the Struggle Over Evolutionary Thought . Chicago: University of Chicago Press (2009), 576 Pp., 8 Color Plates, 122 Halftones, $25.00 (Paper). [REVIEW] Philosophy of Science 78 (4):696-701.
  25.  20
    Alan C. Love (2005). The Return of the Embryo. Biology and Philosophy 20 (2-3):567-584.
    Review by Alan Love of "Keywords & Concepts in Evolutionary Developmental Biology." Hall, Brian K. and Wendy M. Olson (Eds), Cambridge, Harvard University Press. Hb. 476+xvi pp.
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  26.  4
    Alan C. Love (2011). Walking in Darwin's Galápagos Shoes. Metascience 20 (1):117-119.
    A Review of Darwin in Galápagos: Footsteps to a New World by K. Thalia Grant and Gregory B. Estes, [2009].
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  27.  13
    Alan C. Love (2005). Review of Ron Amundson, The Changing Role of the Embryo in Evolutionary Thought: Roots of Evo-Devo. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2005 (10).
  28.  9
    Alan C. Love (2006). History, Scientific Methodology, and the "Squishy" Sciences. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 49 (3):452-456.
    Review by Alan Love of Peter Achinstein's book, ed. Science Rules: A Historical Introduction to Scientific Methods. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2004. Pp. 421. $29.95 (paper).
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  29.  1
    Karen Arnold, James Bogen, Ingo Brigandt, Joe Cain, Paul Griffiths, Catherine Kendig, James Lennox, Alan C. Love, Peter Machamer, Jacqueline Sullivan, Gianmatteo Mameli, Sandra Mitchell, David Papineau, Karola Stotz & D. M. Walsh, Titles and Abstracts for the Pitt-London Workshop in the Philosophy of Biology and Neuroscience: September 2001.
    Titles and abstracts for the Pitt-London Workshop in the Philosophy of Biology and Neuroscience: September 2001.
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  30.  3
    Alan C. Love (2008). Review: Massimo Pigliucci and Jonathan Kaplan: Making Sense of Evolution: The Conceptual Foundations of Evolutionary Biology. [REVIEW] Mind 117 (465):201-205.
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  31. I. Brigandt & Alan C. Love (2010). Evolutionary Novelty and the Evo-Devo Synthesis: Field Notes. Evolutionary Biology 37:93–99.
    Accounting for the evolutionary origins of morphological novelty is one of the core challenges of contemporary evolutionary biology. A successful explanatory framework requires the integration of different biological disciplines, but the relationships between developmental biology and standard evolutionary biology remain contested. There is also disagreement about how to define the concept of evolutionary novelty. These issues were the subjects of a workshop held in November 2009 at the University of Alberta. We report on the discussion and results of this workshop, (...)
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  32. Alan C. Love (2011). Essay Review-ROBERT J. RICHARDS: The Tragic Sense of Life: Ernst Haeckel and the Struggle Over Evolutionary Thought. Philosophy of Science 78 (4).
     
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  33. Alan C. Love (2012). Hierarchy, Causation and Explanation: Ubiquity, Locality, and Pluralism. Interface Focus 2:115–125..
    The ubiquity of top-down causal explanations within and across the sciences is prima facie evidence for the existence of top-down causation. Much debate has been focused on whether top-down causation is coherent or in conflict with reductionism. Less attention has been given to the question of whether these representations of hierarchical relations pick out a single, common hierarchy. A negative answer to this question undermines a commonplace view that the world is divided into stratified ‘levels’ of organization and suggests that (...)
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  34. Alan C. Love (2010). Idealization in Evolutionary Developmental Investigation: A Tension Between Phenotypic Plasticity and Normal Stages. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 365:679–690.
    Idealization is a reasoning strategy that biologists use to describe, model and explain that purposefully departs from features known to be present in nature. Similar to other strategies of scientific reasoning, idealization combines distinctive strengths alongside of latent weaknesses. The study of ontogeny in model organisms is usually executed by establishing a set of normal stages for embryonic development, which enables researchers in different laboratory contexts to have standardized comparisons of experimental results. Normal stages are a form of idealization because (...)
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  35. Alan C. Love (2013). Interdisciplinary Lessons for the Teaching of Biology From the Practice of Evo-Devo. Science & Education 22:255–278.
    Evolutionary developmental biology (Evo-devo) is a vibrant area of contemporary life science that should be (and is) increasingly incorporated into teaching curricula. Although the inclusion of this content is important for biological pedagogy at multiple levels of instruction, there are also philosophical lessons that can be drawn from the scientific practices found in Evo-devo. One feature of particular significance is the interdisciplinary nature of Evo-devo investigations and their resulting explanations. Instead of a single disciplinary approach being the most explanatory or (...)
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  36. Alan C. Love (2009). Marine Invertebrates, Model Organisms, and the Modern Synthesis: Epistemic Values, Evo-Devo, and Exclusion. Theory in Biosciences 128:19–42.
    A central reason that undergirds the significance of evo-devo is the claim that development was left out of the Modern synthesis. This claim turns out to be quite complicated, both in terms of whether development was genuinely excluded and how to understand the different kinds of embryological research that might have contributed. The present paper reevaluates this central claim by focusing on the practice of model organism choice. Through a survey of examples utilized in the literature of the Modern synthesis, (...)
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