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  1.  16
    Justin Garson (2013). The Functional Sense of Mechanism. Philosophy of Science 80 (3):317-333.
  2.  21
    Justin Garson (2012). Function, Selection, and Construction in the Brain. Synthese 189 (3):451-481.
    A common misunderstanding of the selected effects theory of function is that natural selection operating over an evolutionary time scale is the only functionbestowing process in the natural world. This construal of the selected effects theory conflicts with the existence and ubiquity of neurobiological functions that are evolutionary novel, such as structures underlying reading ability. This conflict has suggested to some that, while the selected effects theory may be relevant to some areas of evolutionary biology, its relevance to neuroscience is (...)
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  3.  52
    Justin Garson (2011). Selected Effects and Causal Role Functions in the Brain: The Case for an Etiological Approach to Neuroscience. Biology and Philosophy 26 (4):547-565.
    Despite the voluminous literature on biological functions produced over the last 40 years, few philosophers have studied the concept of function as it is used in neuroscience. Recently, Craver (forthcoming; also see Craver 2001) defended the causal role theory against the selected effects theory as the most appropriate theory of function for neuroscience. The following argues that though neuroscientists do study causal role functions, the scope of that theory is not as universal as claimed. Despite the strong prima facie superiority (...)
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  4.  4
    Justin Garson (2014). What is the Value of Historical Fidelity in Restoration? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 45 (1):97-100.
    The following considers the role of historical fidelity in habitat reconstruction efforts. To what extent should habitat reconstruction be guided by the goal of recreating some past state of a damaged ecosystem? I consider Sarkar’s “replacement argument,” which holds that, in most habitat reconstruction efforts, there is little justification for appealing to historical fidelity. I argue that Sarkar does not provide adequate grounds for deprecating historical fidelity relative to other natural values such as biodiversity or wild nature.
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  5.  92
    Justin Garson (2003). The Introduction of Information Into Neurobiology. Philosophy of Science 70 (5):926-936.
    The first use of the term “information” to describe the content of nervous impulse occurs in Edgar Adrian's The Basis of Sensation (1928). What concept of information does Adrian appeal to, and how can it be situated in relation to contemporary philosophical accounts of the notion of information in biology? The answer requires an explication of Adrian's use and an evaluation of its situation in relation to contemporary accounts of semantic information. I suggest that Adrian's concept of information can be (...)
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  6.  33
    Justin Garson, Linton Wang & Sahotra Sarkar (2003). How Development May Direct Evolution. Biology and Philosophy 18 (2):353-370.
    A framework is presented in which the role ofdevelopmental rules in phenotypic evolution canbe studied for some simple situations. Usingtwo different implicit models of development,characterized by different developmental mapsfrom genotypes to phenotypes, it is shown bysimulation that developmental rules and driftcan result in directional phenotypic evolutionwithout selection. For both models thesimulations show that the critical parameterthat drives the final phenotypic distributionis the cardinality of the set of genotypes thatmap to each phenotype. Details of thedevelopmental map do not matter. If phenotypesare (...)
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  7.  36
    Justin Garson (2003). The Introduction of Information Into Neurobiology. Philosophy of Science 70 (5):926-936.
    The first use of the term "information" to describe the content of nervous impulse occurs 20 years prior to Shannon`s (1948) work, in Edgar Adrian`s The Basis of Sensation (1928). Although, at least throughout the 1920s and early 30s, the term "information" does not appear in Adrian`s scientific writings to describe the content of nervous impulse, the notion that the structure of nervous impulse constitutes a type of message subject to certain constraints plays an important role in all of his (...)
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  8.  6
    Justin Garson, Why Function Indeterminacy is Still a Problem for Biomedicine, and How Seeing Functional Items as Components of Mechanisms Can Solve It.
    During the 1990s, many philosophers wrestled with the problem of function indeterminacy. Although interest in the problem has waned, I argue that solving the problem is of value for biomedical research and practice. This is because a solution to the problem is required in order to specify rigorously the conditions under which a given item is “dysfunctional.” In the following I revisit a solution developed originally by Neander, which uses functional analysis to solve the problem. I situate her solution in (...)
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  9.  2
    Justin Garson & Armin Schulz (forthcoming). Introduction: The Biology of Psychological Altruism. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences.
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  10.  3
    Justin Garson (forthcoming). Two Types of Psychological Hedonism. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences.
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  11.  36
    Justin Garson, Broken Mechanisms: Function, Pathology, and Natural Selection.
    The following describes one distinct sense of ‘mechanism’ which is prevalent in biology and biomedicine and which has important epistemic benefits. According to this sense, mechanisms are defined by the functions they facilitate. This construal has two important implications. Firstly, mechanisms that facilitate functions are capable of breaking. Secondly, on this construal, there are rigid constraints on the sorts of phenomena ‘for which’ there can be a mechanism. In this sense, there are no ‘mechanisms for’ pathology, and natural selection is (...)
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  12.  6
    Justin Garson (2015). Carl F. Craver and Lindley Darden. In Search of Mechanisms: Discoveries Across the Life Sciences. [REVIEW] Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 5 (1):180-83.
    Carl F. Craver and Lindley Darden’s new book, In Search of Mechanisms: Discoveries across the Life Sciences, is a fantastic and lucid introduction to the “new mechanism” tradition in the philosophy of science. Over the last 2 decades, but particularly since the turn of the century, this has become an influential framework for thinking about core problems in the history and philosophy of science, with a strong emphasis on biology. There are at least four major aims. First, the new mechanism (...)
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  13.  2
    Justin Garson (2015). The Birth of Information in the Brain: Edgar Adrian and the Vacuum Tube. Science in Context 28 (1):31-52.
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  14. Justin Garson, Yasha Rohwer, Collin Rice, Matteo Colombo, Peter Brössel, Davide Rizza, Simon M. Huttegger, Richard Healey, Alyssa Ney & Kathryn Phillips (2013). 10. Referees for Philosophy of Science Referees for Philosophy of Science (Pp. 479-482). Philosophy of Science 80 (3).
     
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  15. Justin Garson (2014). The Biological Mind: A Philosophical Introduction. Routledge.
    For some, biology explains all there is to know about the mind. Yet many big questions remain: is the mind shaped by genes or the environment? If mental traits are the result of adaptations built up over thousands of years, as evolutionary psychologists claim, how can such claims be tested? If the mind is a machine, as biologists argue, how does it allow for something as complex as human consciousness? The Biological Mind: A Philosophical Introduction explores these questions and more, (...)
     
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  16. Justin Garson (2014). The Biological Mind: A Philosophical Introduction. Routledge.
    For some, biology explains all there is to know about the mind. Yet many big questions remain: is the mind shaped by genes or the environment? If mental traits are the result of adaptations built up over thousands of years, as evolutionary psychologists claim, how can such claims be tested? If the mind is a machine, as biologists argue, how does it allow for something as complex as human consciousness? The Biological Mind: A Philosophical Introduction explores these questions and more, (...)
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  17. Justin Garson, Anya Plutynski & Sahotra Sarkar (eds.) (2016). The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Biodiversity. Routledge.
    Biological diversity - or ‘biodiversity’ - is the degree of variation of life within an ecosystem. It is a relatively new topic of study but has grown enormously in recent years. Because of its interdisciplinary nature the very concept of biodiversity is the subject of debate amongst philosophers, biologists, geographers and environmentalists. The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Biodiversity is an outstanding reference source to the key topics and debates in this exciting subject. Comprising twenty-three chapters by a team of (...)
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  18. Justin Garson, Anya Plutynski & Sahotra Sarkar (eds.) (2016). The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Biodiversity. Routledge.
    Biological diversity - or ‘biodiversity’ - is the degree of variation of life within an ecosystem. It is a relatively new topic of study but has grown enormously in recent years. Because of its interdisciplinary nature the very concept of biodiversity is the subject of debate amongst philosophers, biologists, geographers and environmentalists. The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Biodiversity is an outstanding reference source to the key topics and debates in this exciting subject. Comprising twenty-three chapters by a team of (...)
     
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