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Profile: John Dupre (University of Exeter)
  1.  164 DLs
    John Dupré (2004). What's the Fuss About Social Constructivism. Episteme 1 (1):73-85.
    The topic of this paper is social constructivist doctrines about the nature of scientific knowledge. I don't propose to review all the many accounts that have either claimed this designation or had it ascribed to them. Rather I shall try to consider in a very general way what sense should be made of the underlying idea, and then illustrate some of the central points with two central examples from biology. The first thing to say is that, on the face of (...)
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  2.  107 DLs
    John Dupré (2013). Elliott Sober Did Darwin Write the Origin Backwards? Philosophical Essays on Darwin's Theory. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (4):axt010.
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  3.  97 DLs
    John Dupré (1995). The Solution to the Problem of the Freedom of the Will. Noûs 30:385 - 402.
    It has notoriously been supposed that the doctrine of determinism conflicts with the belief in human freedom. Yet it is not readily apparent how indeterminism, the denial of determinism, makes human freedom any less problematic. It has sometimes been suggested that the arrival of quantum mechanics should immediately have solved the problem of free will and determinism. It was proposed, perhaps more often by scientists than by philosophers, that the brain would need only to be fitted with a device for (...)
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  4.  91 DLs
    Harold Kincaid, John Dupré & Alison Wylie (eds.) (2007). Value-Free Science?: Ideals and Illusions. Oxford University Press.
    It has long been thought that science is our best hope for realizing objective knowledge, but that, to deliver on this promise, it must be value free. Things are not so simple, however, as recent work in science studies makes clear. The contributors to this volume investigate where and how values are involved in science, and examine the implications of this involvement for ideals of objectivity.
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  5.  87 DLs
    John Dupré (1981). Natural Kinds and Biological Taxa. Philosophical Review 90 (1):66-90.
  6.  71 DLs
    J. Dupre (2000). Discussion. In Defence of the Baldwin Effect: A Reply to Watkins. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 51 (3):477-479.
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  7.  68 DLs
    John Dupré (2012). A Fine Book, but Who's It For? Metascience 21 (1):175-177.
  8.  67 DLs
    J. Dupré (2000). Discussion. In Defence of the Baldwin Effect: A Reply to Watkins. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 51 (3):477-479.
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  9.  58 DLs
    John Dupré (2010). The Human Genome, Human Evolution, and Gender. Constellations 17 (4):540-548.
  10.  56 DLs
    John Dupré (1983). The Disunity of Science. Mind 92 (367):321-346.
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  11.  54 DLs
    John Dupré & Nancy Cartwright (1988). Probability and Causality: Why Hume and Indeterminism Don't Mix. Noûs 22 (4):521-536.
  12.  51 DLs
    John Dupré (2004). Human Kinds and Biological Kinds: Some Similarities and Differences. Philosophy of Science 71 (5):892-900.
    This paper compares human diversity with biological diversity generally. Drawing on the pluralistic perspective on biological species defended in earlier work (2002, chs. 3 and 4), I argue that there are useful parallels to be drawn between human and animal kinds, as there are between their respective sources in cultural evolution and evolution generally. This view is developed in opposition to the insistence by sociobiologists and their successors on minimizing the significance of culture. The paper concludes with a discussion of (...)
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  13.  45 DLs
    John Dupré (2005). You Must Have Thought This Book Was About You1: Reply to Daniel Dennett. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (3):691–695.
  14.  45 DLs
    John Dupré (2004). Science and Values and Values in Science: Comments on Philip Kitcher's Science, Truth, and Democracy. Inquiry 47 (5):505 – 514.
  15.  45 DLs
    John Dupré (2012). Comments onPhilosophy of Science After Feminism, by Janet Kourany. Perspectives on Science 20 (3):310-319.
  16.  44 DLs
    Alexander Powell & John Dupré (2009). From Molecules to Systems: The Importance of Looking Both Ways. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 40 (1):54-64.
    Although molecular biology has meant different things at different times, the term is often associated with a tendency to view cellular causation as conforming to simple linear schemas in which macro-scale effects are specified by micro-scale structures. The early achievements of molecular biologists were important for the formation of such an outlook, one to which the discovery of recombinant DNA techniques, and a number of other findings, gave new life even after the complexity of genotype–phenotype
    relations had become apparent. Against this (...)
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  17.  43 DLs
    John Dupré (1998). Against Reductionist Explanations of Human Behaviour: John Dupré. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 72 (1):153–172.
    [John Dupré] This paper attacks some prominent contemporary attempts to provide reductive accounts of ever wider areas of human behaviour. In particular, I shall address the claims of sociobiology (or evolutionary psychology) to provide a universal account of human nature, and attempts to subsume ever wider domains of behaviour within the scope of economics. I shall also consider some recent suggestions as to how these approaches might be integrated. Having rejected the imperialistic ambitions of these approaches, I shall briefly advocate (...)
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  18.  43 DLs
    John Dupré (1994). The Philosophical Basis of Biological Classification. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 25 (2):271-279.
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  19.  42 DLs
    Maureen A. O’Malley, William Martin & John Dupré (2010). The Tree of Life: Introduction to an Evolutionary Debate. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 25 (4):441-453.
    The ‘Tree of Life’ is intended to represent the pattern of evolutionary processes that result in bifurcating species lineages. Often justified in reference to Darwin’s discussions of trees, the Tree of Life has run up against numerous challenges especially in regard to prokaryote evolution. This special issue examines scientific, historical and philosophical aspects of debates about the Tree of Life, with the aim of turning these criticisms towards a reconstruction of prokaryote phylogeny and even some aspects of the standard evolutionary (...)
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  20.  40 DLs
    John Dupre (1996). The Solution to the Problem of Freedom of the Will. Philosophical Perspectives 10:385-402.
    It has notoriously been supposed that the doctrine of determinism conflicts with the belief in human freedom. Yet it is not readily apparent how indeterminism, the denial of determinism, makes human freedom any less problematic. It has sometimes been suggested that the arrival of quantum mechanics should immediately have solved the problem of free will and determinism. It was proposed, perhaps more often by scientists than by philosophers, that the brain would need only to be fitted with a device for (...)
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  21.  38 DLs
    John Dupré (1989). Contemporary Feminist Perspectives on Biological Science. Biology and Philosophy 4 (1):107-119.
  22.  38 DLs
    John Dupré (2013). Living Causes. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 87 (1):19-37.
    This paper considers the applicability of standard accounts of causation to living systems. In particular it examines critically the increasing tendency to equate causal explanation with the identification of a mechanism. A range of differences between living systems and paradigm mechanisms are identified and discussed. While in principle it might be possible to accommodate an account of mechanism to these features, the attempt to do so risks reducing the idea of a mechanism to vacuity. It is proposed that the solution (...)
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  23.  38 DLs
    J. Dupre (2001). In Defence of Classification. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 32 (2):203-219.
    It has increasingly been recognised that units of biological classification cannot be identified with the units of evolution. After briefly defending the necessity of this distinction I argue, contrary to the prevailing orthodoxy, that species should be treated as the fundamental units of classification and not, therefore, as units of evolution. This perspective fits well with the increasing tendency to reject the search for a monistic basis of classification and embrace a pluralistic and pragmatic account of the species category. It (...)
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  24.  36 DLs
    J. Dupre (1994). Against Scientific Imperialism. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:374 - 381.
    Most discussion of the unity of science has concerned what might be called vertical relations between theories: the reducibility of biology to chemistry, or chemistry to physics, and so on. In this paper I shall be concerned rather with horizontal relations, that is to say, with theories of different kinds that deal with objects at the same structural level. Whereas the former, vertical, conception of unity through reduction has come under a good deal of criticism recently (see, e.g., Dupré 1993), (...)
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  25.  34 DLs
    John Dupré (2002). Is 'Natural Kind' a Natural Kind Term? The Monist 85 (1):29-49.
  26.  34 DLs
    John Dupré (2005). Are There Genes? Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 80 (56):16-.
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  27.  34 DLs
    John Dupré (2010). Developmental Systems Theory. The Philosophers' Magazine (50):38-39.
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  28.  33 DLs
    Eric Bapteste & John Dupré (2013). Towards a Processual Microbial Ontology. Biology and Philosophy 28 (2):379-404.
    Standard microbial evolutionary ontology is organized according to a nested hierarchy of entities at various levels of biological organization. It typically detects and defines these entities in relation to the most stable aspects of evolutionary processes, by identifying lineages evolving by a process of vertical inheritance from an ancestral entity. However, recent advances in microbiology indicate that such an ontology has important limitations. The various dynamics detected within microbiological systems reveal that a focus on the most stable entities (or features (...)
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  29.  33 DLs
    John Dupré & Maureen A. O’Malley (2007). Metagenomics and Biological Ontology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 38 (4):834-846.
    Metagenomics is an emerging microbial systems science that is based on the large-scale analysis of the DNA of microbial communities in their natural environments. Studies of metagenomes are revealing the vast scope of biodiversity in a wide range of environments, as well as new functional capacities of individual cells and communities, and the complex evolutionary relationships between them. Our examination of this science focuses on the ontological implications of these studies of metagenomes and metaorganisms, and what they mean for common (...)
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  30.  32 DLs
    John Dupré (1983). Human Reproduction and Sociobiology. Analysis 43 (4):210 - 212.
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  31.  32 DLs
    John Dupré (1996). Promiscuous Realism: Reply to Wilson. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (3):441-444.
    This paper presents a brief response to Robert A. Wilson's critical discussion of Promiscuous Realism [1996]. I argue that, although convergence on a unique conception of species cannot be ruled out, the evidence against such an outcome is stronger than Wilson allows. In addition, given the failure of biological science to come up with a unique and privileged set of biological kinds, the relevance of the various overlapping kinds of ordinary language to the metaphysics of biological kinds is greater than (...)
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  32.  31 DLs
    John Dupré & Maureen O'malley (2009). Varieties of Living Things: Life at the Intersection of Lineage and Metabolism. Philosophy & Theory in Biology 1 (20130604).
    We address three fundamental questions: What does it mean for an entity to be living? What is the role of inter-organismic collaboration in evolution? What is a biological individual? Our central argument is that life arises when lineage-forming entities collaborate in metabolism. By conceiving of metabolism as a collaborative process performed by functional wholes, which are associations of a variety of lineage-forming entities, we avoid the standard tension between reproduction and metabolism in discussions of life – a tension particularly evident (...)
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  33.  31 DLs
    Maureen A. O’Malley & John Dupré (2007). Size Doesn't Matter: Towards a More Inclusive Philosophy of Biology. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 22 (2):155-191.
    Philosophers of biology, along with everyone else, generally perceive life to fall into two broad categories, the microbes and macrobes, and then pay most of their attention to the latter. ‘Macrobe’ is the word we propose for larger life forms, and we use it as part of an argument for microbial equality. We suggest that taking more notice of microbes – the dominant life form on the planet, both now and throughout evolutionary history – will transform some of the philosophy (...)
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  34.  30 DLs
    John Dupré (2004). Understanding Contemporary Genomics. Perspectives on Science 12 (3):320-338.
    : Recent molecular biology has seen the development of genomics as a successor to traditional genetics. This paper offers an overview of the structure, epistemology, and (very briefly) history of contemporary genomics. A particular focus is on the question to what extent the genome contains, or is composed of, anything that corresponds to traditional conceptions of genes. It is concluded that the only interpretation of genes that has much contemporary scientific relevance is what is described as the "developmental defect" gene (...)
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  35.  30 DLs
    John Dupre (2004). Review of Joseph LaPorte, Natural Kinds and Conceptual Change. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2004 (6).
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  36.  27 DLs
    John Dupré (2002). The Lure of the Simplistic. Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S284-S293.
    This paper attacks the perennial philosophical and scientific quest for a simple and unified vision of the world. Without denying the attraction of this vision, I argue that such a goal often seriously distorts our understanding of complex phenomena. The argument is illustrated with reference to simplistic attempts to provide extremely general views of biology, and especially of human nature, through the theory of evolution. Although that theory is a fundamental ingredient of our scientific world view, it provides only one (...)
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  37.  27 DLs
    John Dupré (1984). Probabilistic Causality Emancipated. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 9 (1):169-175.
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  38.  26 DLs
    John Dupré (1990). Scientific Pluralism and the Plurality of the Sciences: Comments on David Hull's Science as a Process. Philosophical Studies 60 (1-2):61 - 76.
  39.  26 DLs
    John Dupré (2011). Emerging Sciences and New Conceptions of Disease; or, Beyond the Monogenomic Differentiated Cell Lineage. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (1):119-131.
    This paper will begin with some very broad and general considerations about the kind of biological entities we are. This exercise is motivated by the belief that the view of what we—multicellular eukaryotic organisms—are that is widely assumed by biologists, medical scientists and the general public, is an extremely limited one. It cannot be assumed a priori that a more sophisticated view will make a major difference to the science or practice of medicine, and there are areas of medicine to (...)
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  40.  25 DLs
    John Dupré (1998). Wittgenstein and Forms of Life. The Philosophers' Magazine 4 (4):24-27.
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  41.  24 DLs
    J. Dupre (1995). Review of Kitcher: "The Advancement of Science: Science Without Legend, Objectivity Without Illusions". [REVIEW] Philosophical Explorations.
    Philip Kitcher's book begins with a familiar historical overview. In the 1940s and 50s a confident, optimistic vision of science was widely shared by philosophers and historians of science. The goal of science was to discover the truth about nature, and over the centuries science had advanced steadily towards that goal; science discerned the real kinds of things of which the world was composed and the causal relations between them; the methods of science were rational and its deliverances objective; and (...)
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  42.  24 DLs
    John Dupre (1999). Book Review:How the Mind Works Steven Pinker. [REVIEW] Philosophy of Science 66 (3):489-.
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  43.  22 DLs
    John Dupre (1988). Materialism, Physicalism, and Scientism. Philosophical Topics 16 (1):31-56.
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  44.  21 DLs
    John Dupré (1990). Probabilistic Causality: A Rejoinder to Ellery Eells. Philosophy of Science 57 (4):690-698.
    In an earlier paper (Dupré 1984), I criticized a thesis sometimes defended by theorists of probabilistic causality, namely, that a probabilistic cause must raise the probability of its effect in every possible set of causally relevant background conditions (the "contextual unanimity thesis"). I also suggested that a more promising analysis of probabilistic causality might be sought in terms of statistical relevance in a fair sample. Ellery Eells (1987) has defended the contextual unanimity thesis against my objections, and also raised objections (...)
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  45.  19 DLs
    J. Dupre (1996). Review of Sober's "Philosophy of Biology". [REVIEW] Philosophical Explorations 63:143-145.
    Elliott Sober is among the leading contemporary contributors to the philosophy of biology. He also has an exceptional ability to explain difficult ideas clearly. He is therefore very well equipped to provide an accessible yet state-of-the-art introduction to the philosophy of biology, and in most respects this optimistic prognosis is justified by the present volume. Focussing on evolutionary biology, Sober provides a general overview of evolutionary theory; a chapter on creationism that serves as a vehicle for the discussion of the (...)
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  46.  19 DLs
    J. Dupre (1996). Promiscuous Realism: Reply to Wilson. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (3):441-444.
    This paper presents a brief response to Robert A. Wilson's critical discussion of Promiscuous Realism [1996]. I argue that although convergence on a unique conception of species cannot be ruled out, the evidence against such an outcome is stronger than Wilson allows. In addition, given the failure of biological science to come up with a unique and privileged set of biological kinds, the relevance of the various overlapping kinds of ordinary language to the metaphysics of biological kinds is greater than (...)
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  47.  19 DLs
    John Dupré (2002). Hidden Treasure in the Linnean Hierarchy. Biology and Philosophy 17 (3):423-433.
  48.  19 DLs
    John Dupré (1986). Sex, Gender, and Essence. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 11 (1):441-457.
  49.  18 DLs
    John Dupre (2002). The Lure of the Simplistic. Philosophy of Science 69 (S3):S284-S293.
    This paper attacks the perennial philosophical and scientific quest for a simple and unified vision of the world. Without denying the attraction of this vision, I argue that such a goal often seriously distorts our understanding of complex phenomena. The argument is illustrated with reference to simplistic attempts to provide extremely general views of biology, and especially of human nature, through the theory of evolution. Although that theory is a fundamental ingredient of our scientific world view, it provides only one (...)
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