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Carol E. Cleland [22]Carol Cleland [5]
  1. Carol E. Cleland, Defining 'Life'.
    There is no broadly accepted definition of ‘life.’ Suggested definitions face problems, often in the form of robust counter-examples. Here we use insights from philosophical investigations into language to argue that defining ‘life’ currently poses a dilemma analogous to that faced by those hoping to define ‘water’ before the existence of molecular theory. In the absence of an analogous theory of the nature of living systems, interminable controversy over the definition of life is inescapable.
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  2. Carol E. Cleland, The Possibility of Alternative Microbial Life on Earth.
    : Despite its amazing morphological diversity, life as we know it on Earth today is remarkably similar in its basic molecular architecture and biochemistry. The assumption that all life on Earth today shares these molecular and biochemical features is part of the paradigm of modern biology. This paper examines the possibility that this assumption is false, more specifically, that the contemporary Earth contains as yet unrecognized alternative forms of microbial life. The possibility that more than one form of life arose (...)
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  3. Paul C. W. Davies, Carol E. Cleland & Christopher P. McKay, Signatures of a Shadow Biosphere.
    Astrobiologists are aware that extraterrestrial life might differ from known life, and considerable thought has been given to possible signatures associated with weird forms of life on other planets. So far, however, very little attention has been paid to the possibility that our own planet might also host communities of weird life. If life arises readily in Earth-like conditions, as many astrobiologists contend, then it may well have formed many times on Earth itself, which raises the question whether one or (...)
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  4. Carol Cleland, Historical Science, Experimental Science, and the Scientific Method.
    Many scientists believe that there is a uniform, interdisciplinary method for the prac- tice of good science. The paradigmatic examples, however, are drawn from classical ex- perimental science. Insofar as historical hypotheses cannot be tested in controlled labo- ratory settings, historical research is sometimes said to be inferior to experimental research. Using examples from diverse historical disciplines, this paper demonstrates that such claims are misguided. First, the reputed superiority of experimental research is based upon accounts of scientific methodology (Baconian inductivism (...)
     
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  5. Carol Cleland (forthcoming). Effective Procedures and Causal Processes. Minds and Machines.
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  6. Carol E. Cleland (2013). Is a General Theory of Life Possible? Seeking the Nature of Life in the Context of a Single Example. Biological Theory 7 (4):368-379.
    Is one of the roles of theory in biology answering the question “What is life?” This is true of theory in many other fields of science. So why should not it be the case for biology? Yet efforts to identify unifying concepts and principles of life have been disappointing, leading some (pluralists) to conclude that life is not a natural kind. In this essay I argue that such judgments are premature. Life as we know it on Earth today represents a (...)
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  7. Carol E. Cleland (2013). Pluralism or Unity in Biology: Could Microbes Hold the Secret to Life? Biology and Philosophy 28 (2):189-204.
    Pluralism is popular among philosophers of biology. This essay argues that negative judgments about universal biology, while understandable, are very premature. Familiar life on Earth represents a single example of life and, most importantly, there are empirical as well as theoretical reasons for suspecting that it may be unrepresentative. Scientifically compelling generalizations about the unity of life (or lack thereof) must await the discovery of forms of life descended from an alternative origin, the most promising candidate being the discovery of (...)
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  8. Carol E. Cleland & Sheralee Brindell (2013). Science and the Messy, Uncontrollable World of Nature. In Massimo Pigliucci & Maarten Boudry (eds.), Philosophy of Pseudoscience: Reconsidering the Demarcation Problem. University of Chicago Press. 183.
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  9. Carol E. Cleland (2012). Life Without Definitions. Synthese 185 (1):125-144.
    The question ‘what is life?’ has long been a source of philosophical debate and in recent years has taken on increasing scientific importance. The most popular approach among both philosophers and scientists for answering this question is to provide a “definition” of life. In this article I explore a variety of different definitional approaches, both traditional and non-traditional, that have been used to “define” life. I argue that all of them are deeply flawed. It is my contention that a scientifically (...)
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  10. Mark Bedau & Carol Cleland (eds.) (2010). The Nature of Life: Classical and Contemporary Perspectives From Philosophy and Science. Cambridge University Press.
    Bringing together the latest scientific advances and some of the most enduring subtle philosophical puzzles and problems, this book collects original historical and contemporary sources to explore the wide range of issues surrounding the nature of life. Selections ranging from Aristotle and Descartes to Sagan and Dawkins are organised around four broad themes covering classical discussions of life, the origins and extent of natural life, contemporary artificial life creations and the definition and meaning of 'life' in its most general form. (...)
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  11. Carol E. Cleland (2007). Epistemological Issues in the Study of Microbial Life: Alternative Terran Biospheres? Stud. Hist. Phil. Biol. And Biomed. Sci 38 (4):847-61.
    The assumption that all life on Earth today shares the same basic molecular architecture and biochemistry is part of the paradigm of modern biology. This paper argues that there is little theoretical or empirical support for this widely held assumption. Scientists know that life could have been at least modestly different at the molecular level and it is clear that alternative molecular building blocks for life were available on the early Earth. If the emergence of life is, like other natural (...)
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  12. Carol Cleland (2006). The Church-Turing Thesis: A Last Vestige of a Failed Mathematical Program. In A. Olszewski, J. Wole'nski & R. Janusz (eds.), Church's Thesis After Seventy Years. Ontos Verlag. 119-146.
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  13. Carol E. Cleland (2004). Review of Parsons. [REVIEW] Philosophy of Science 71 (4):605-607.
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  14. Carol E. Cleland (2002). Methodological and Epistemic Differences Between Historical Science and Experimental Science. Philosophy of Science 69 (3):447-451.
    Experimental research is commonly held up as the paradigm of "good" science. Although experiment plays many roles in science, its classical role is testing hypotheses in controlled laboratory settings. Historical science (which includes work in geology, biology, and astronomy, as well as paleontology and archaeology) is sometimes held to be inferior on the grounds that its hypothesis cannot be tested by controlled laboratory experiments. Using contemporary examples from diverse scientific disciplines, this paper explores differences in practice between historical and (...)
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  15. Carol E. Cleland (2002). On Effective Procedures. Minds and Machines 12 (2):159-179.
    Since the mid-twentieth century, the concept of the Turing machine has dominated thought about effective procedures. This paper presents an alternative to Turing's analysis; it unifies, refines, and extends my earlier work on this topic. I show that Turing machines cannot live up to their billing as paragons of effective procedure; at best, they may be said to provide us with mere procedure schemas. I argue that the concept of an effective procedure crucially depends upon distinguishing procedures as definite courses (...)
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  16. Carol E. Cleland (2002). 'Turing Limit'. Some of Them (Steinhart, Copeland) Represent Extensions of Tur-Ing's Account, Whereas Others Defend Alternatives Notions of Effective Computability (Bringsjord and Zenzen, Wells). Minds and Machines 12:157-158.
  17. Carol E. Cleland (2001). Recipes, Algorithms, and Programs. Minds and Machines 11 (2):219-237.
    In the technical literature of computer science, the concept of an effective procedure is closely associated with the notion of an instruction that precisely specifies an action. Turing machine instructions are held up as providing paragons of instructions that "precisely describe" or "well define" the actions they prescribe. Numerical algorithms and computer programs are judged effective just insofar as they are thought to be translatable into Turing machine programs. Nontechnical procedures (e.g., recipes, methods) are summarily dismissed as ineffective on the (...)
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  18. Carol E. Cleland (1995). Effective Procedures and Computable Functions. Minds and Machines 5 (1):9-23.
    Horsten and Roelants have raised a number of important questions about my analysis of effective procedures and my evaluation of the Church-Turing thesis. They suggest that, on my account, effective procedures cannot enter the mathematical world because they have a built-in component of causality, and, hence, that my arguments against the Church-Turing thesis miss the mark. Unfortunately, however, their reasoning is based upon a number of misunderstandings. Effective mundane procedures do not, on my view, provide an analysis of ourgeneral concept (...)
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  19. Carol E. Cleland (1995). Lectures On Metaphysics 1934-1935. Review of Metaphysics 48 (3):671-673.
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  20. Carol E. Cleland (1995). Laws of Nature. Review of Metaphysics 49 (2):406-408.
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  21. Carol E. Cleland (1993). Is the Church-Turing Thesis True? Minds and Machines 3 (3):283-312.
    The Church-Turing thesis makes a bold claim about the theoretical limits to computation. It is based upon independent analyses of the general notion of an effective procedure proposed by Alan Turing and Alonzo Church in the 1930''s. As originally construed, the thesis applied only to the number theoretic functions; it amounted to the claim that there were no number theoretic functions which couldn''t be computed by a Turing machine but could be computed by means of some other kind of effective (...)
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  22. Carol Cleland (1991). On the Individuation of Events. Synthese 86 (2):229 - 254.
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  23. Carol E. Cleland (1990). The Difference Between Real Change and Mere Cambridge Change. Philosophical Studies 60 (3):257 - 280.
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  24. Carol E. Cleland (1988). Is Smolensky's Treatment of Connectionism on the Level? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (1):27.
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  25. Carol E. Cleland (1985). Causality, Chance and Weak Non-Super Venience. American Philosophical Quarterly 22 (4):287 - 298.
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  26. Carol E. Cleland (1984). Space: An Abstract System of Non-Supervenient Relations. Philosophical Studies 46 (1):19 - 40.
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