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  1. Paul E. Griffiths & Karola Stotz, What is a Gene?
    We outline three very different concepts of the gene - 'instrumental', 'nominal', and 'postgenomic'. The instrumental gene has a critical role in the construction and interpretation of experiments in which the relationship between genotype and phenotype is explored via hybridization between organisms or directly between nucleic acid molecules. It also plays an important theoretical role in the foundations of disciplines such as quantitative genetics and population genetics. The nominal gene is a critical practical tool, allowing stable communication between bioscientists in (...)
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  2. Sahotra Sarkar & Paul E. Griffiths, Evolutionary Psychology: History and Current Status.
    The evolutionary study of the mind in the twentieth century has been marked by three self-conscious movements: classical ethology, sociobiology and Evolutionary Psychology (capitalized to indicate that it functions here as a proper name). Classical ethology was established in the years immediately before the Second World War, primarily by Konrad Lorenz and Niko Tinbergen (Burckhardt, 1983). Interrupted by the war, the movement blossomed in the early 1950s, when ethologists established major research institutes in most developed countries and developed a successful (...)
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  3. Mark Colyvan, William Grey, Paul E. Griffiths, Jay Odenbaugh & Stefan Linquist, Philosophical Issues in Ecology: Recent Trends and Future Directions.
    A good philosophical understanding of ecology is important for a number of reasons. First, ecology is an important and fascinating branch of biology, with distinctive philosophical issues. Second, ecology is only one small step away from urgent political, ethical, and management decisions about how best to live in an apparently fragile and increasingly-degraded environment. Third, philosophy of ecology, properly conceived, can contribute directly to both our understanding of ecology and help with its advancement. Philosophy of ecology can thus be seen (...)
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  4. Jay Odenbaugh, Mark Colyvan, Stefan Linquist, William Grey, Paul E. Griffiths & and Hugh P. Possingham, A Field Guide to the Philosophy of Ecology.
    Mark Colyvan (University of Sydney)∗ Stefan Linquist (University of Queensland) William Grey (University of Queensland) Paul E. Griffiths (University of Sydney) Jay Odenbaugh (Lewis and Clark College).
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  5. Paul E. Griffiths & John S. Wilkins (forthcoming). Darwin in the 21st Century.
  6. Paul E. Griffiths & John S. Wilkins (forthcoming). When Do Evolutionary Explanations of Belief Debunk Belief? In Darwin in the 21st Century.
    Ever since Darwin people have worried about the sceptical implications of evolution. If our minds are products of evolution like those of other animals, why suppose that the beliefs they produce are true, rather than merely useful? In this chapter we apply this argument to beliefs in three different domains: morality, religion, and science. We identify replies to evolutionary scepticism that work in some domains but not in others. The simplest reply to evolutionary scepticism is that the truth of beliefs (...)
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  7. Paul Edmund Griffiths (forthcoming). In What Sense Does 'Nothing Make Sense Except in the Light of Evolution'? Acta Biotheoretica.
    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 (...)
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  8. John S. Wilkins & Paul E. Griffiths (forthcoming). Evolutionary Debunking Arguments in Three Domains: Fact, Value, and Religion. In James Maclaurin Greg Dawes (ed.), A New Science of Religion. Routledge.
    Ever since Darwin people have worried about the sceptical implications of evolution. If our minds are products of evolution like those of other animals, why suppose that the beliefs they produce are true, rather than merely useful? We consider this problem for beliefs in three different domains: religion, morality, and commonsense and scientific claims about matters of empirical fact. We identify replies to evolutionary scepticism that work in some domains but not in others. One reply is that evolution can be (...)
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  9. Paul E. Griffiths (2013). Current Emotion Research in Philosophy. Emotion Review 5 (2):215-222.
    There remains a division between the work of philosophers who draw on the sciences of the mind to understand emotion and those who see the philosophy of emotion as more self-sufficient. This article examines this methodological division before reviewing some of the debates that have figured in the philosophical literature of the last decade: whether emotion is a single kind of thing, whether there are discrete categories of emotion, and whether emotion is a form of perception. These questions have been (...)
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  10. Paul E. Griffiths (2010). Emotion on Dover Beach: Feeling and Value in the Philosophy of Robert Solomon. Emotion Review 2 (1):22-28.
    Robert Solomon’s philosophy of emotion should be understood in the light of his lifelong commitment to existentialism and his advocacy of “the passionate life” as a means of creating value. Although he developed his views in the framework of the “cognitive theory” of emotions, closer examination reveals many themes in common with a socially situated, transactionalist view of emotions.
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  11. Paul E. Griffiths (2009). God, Genesis and Germlines. Metascience 18 (1):85-86.
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  12. Paul E. Griffiths (2008). History of Ethology Comes of Age. Biology and Philosophy 23 (1):129-134.
  13. Paul E. Griffiths (2008). Jesse Prinz Gut Reactions: A Perceptual Theory of Emotion. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (3):559-567.
  14. Paul E. Griffiths & Edouard Machery (2008). Innateness, Canalization, and 'Biologicizing the Mind'. Philosophical Psychology 21 (3):397 – 414.
    This article examines and rejects the claim that 'innateness is canalization'. Waddington's concept of canalization is distinguished from the narrower concept of environmental canalization with which it is often confused. Evidence is presented that the concept of environmental canalization is not an accurate analysis of the existing concept of innateness. The strategy of 'biologicizing the mind' by treating psychological or behavioral traits as if they were environmentally canalized physiological traits is criticized using data from developmental psychobiology. It is concluded that (...)
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  15. Paul E. Griffiths & Karola Stotz (2008). Experimental Philosophy of Science. Philosophy Compass 3 (3):507–521.
    Experimental philosophy of science gathers empirical data on how key scientific concepts are understood by particular scientific communities. In this paper we briefly describe two recent studies in experimental philosophy of biology, one investigating the concept of the gene, the other the concept of innateness. The use of experimental methods reveals facts about these concepts that would not be accessible using the traditional method of intuitions about possible cases. It also contributes to the study of conceptual change in science, which (...)
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  16. Karola Stotz & Paul E. Griffiths (2008). Biohumanities: Rethinking the Relationship Between Biosciences, Philosophy and History of Science, and Society. Quarterly Review of Biology 83 (1):37--45.
    We argue that philosophical and historical research can constitute a ‘Biohumanities’ which deepens our understanding of biology itself; engages in constructive 'science criticism'; helps formulate new 'visions of biology'; and facilitates 'critical science communication'. We illustrate these ideas with two recent 'experimental philosophy' studies of the concept of the gene and of the concept of innateness conducted by ourselves and collaborators.
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  17. Paul E. Griffiths (2007). The Phenomena of Homology. Biology and Philosophy 22 (5):643-658.
    Philosophical discussions of biological classification have failed to recognise the central role of homology in the classification of biological parts and processes. One reason for this is a misunderstanding of the relationship between judgments of homology and the core explanatory theories of biology. The textbook characterisation of homology as identity by descent is commonly regarded as a definition. I suggest instead that it is one of several attempts to explain the phenomena of homology. Twenty years ago the ‘new experimentalist’ movement (...)
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  18. Paul E. Griffiths & Karola Stotz (2007). Gene. In David L. Hull & Michael Ruse (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to the Philosophy of Biology. Cambridge University Press.
    The historian Raphael Falk has described the gene as a ‘concept in tension’ (Falk 2000) – an idea pulled this way and that by the differing demands of different kinds of biological work. Several authors have suggested that in the light of contemporary molecular biology ‘gene’ is no more than a handy term which acquires a specific meaning only in a specific scientific context in which it occurs. Hence the best way to answer the question ‘what is a gene’, and (...)
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  19. Stotz Karola & Paul E. Griffiths, Biohumanities: Rethinking the Relationship Between Biosciences, Philosophy and History of Science, and Society.
    We argue that philosophical and historical research can constitute a ‘Biohumanities’ which deepens our understanding of biology itself; engages in constructive 'science criticism'; helps formulate new 'visions of biology'; and facilitates 'critical science communication'. We illustrate these ideas with two recent 'experimental philosophy' studies of the concept of the gene and of the concept of innateness conducted by ourselves and collaborators. We conclude that the complex and often troubled relations between science and society are critical to both parties, and argue (...)
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  20. Paul E. Griffiths (2006). Recent Work on the Evolution of Culture. Metascience 15 (2):265-270.
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  21. Paul E. Griffiths, Jordi Cat, Henry E. Kyburg Jr, Torsten Wilholt & Alisa Bokulich (2006). 1. IC Jarvie: The Republic of Science: The Emergence of Popper&# X2019; s Social View of Science 1935&# X2013; 1945, IC Jarvie: The Republic of Science: The Emergence of Popper&# X2019; s Social View of Science 1935&# X2013; 1945, (Pp. 108-121). [REVIEW] Philosophy of Science 73 (1).
     
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  22. Paul E. Griffiths & Karola Stotz (2006). Genes in the Postgenomic Era. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 27 (6):499-521.
    We outline three very different concepts of the gene—instrumental, nominal, and postgenomic. The instrumental gene has a critical role in the construction and interpretation of experiments in which the relationship between genotype and phenotype is explored via hybridization between organisms or directly between nucleic acid molecules. It also plays an important theoretical role in the foundations of disciplines such as quantitative genetics and population genetics. The nominal gene is a critical practical tool, allowing stable communication between bioscientists in a wide (...)
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  23. Paul Edmund Griffiths, Ethology, Sociobiology and Evolutionary Psychology.
    In the years leading up to the Second World War the ethologists Konrad Lorenz and Nikolaas Tinbergen, created the tradition of rigorous, Darwinian research on animal behavior that developed into modern behavioral ecology. At first glance, research on specifically human behavior seems to exhibit greater discontinuity that research on animal behavior in general. The 'human ethology' of the 1960s appears to have been replaced in the early 1970s by a new approach called ‘sociobiology’. Sociobiology in its turn appears to have (...)
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  24. Paul Edmund Griffiths (2006). Function, Homology, and Character Individuation. Philosophy of Science 73 (1):1-25.
    Many philosophers believe that 1) most uses of functional language in biology make implicit reference to natural selection and 2) the fundamental way in which biologists identify parts and processes in organisms is by their selected function(s). Both these claims are mistaken. Much functional language in biology refers to actual causal roles, and if this were not so, biology would be impossible. The extensive biological literature on the ‘character concept’ focuses on another principle of biological identity, namely homology. I outline (...)
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  25. Paul E. Griffiths (2006). Function, Homology, and Character Individuation. Philosophy of Science 73 (1):1-25.
    I defend the view that many biological categories are defined by homology against a series of arguments designed to show that all biological categories are defined, at least in part, by selected function. I show that categories of homology are `abnormality inclusive'—something often alleged to be unique to selected function categories. I show that classifications by selected function are logically dependent on classifications by homology, but not vice-versa. Finally, I reject the view that biologists must use considerations of selected function (...)
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  26. Paul E. Griffiths (2005). Jason Scott Robert, Embryology, Epigenesis and Evolution: Taking Development Seriously Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 25 (3):213-215.
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  27. Paul E. Griffiths (2005). Review of 'Niche Construction'. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 20 (1):11-20.
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  28. Paul E. Griffiths & Russell D. Gray (2005). Discussion: Three Ways to Misunderstand Developmental Systems Theory. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 20 (2-3):417-425.
    Developmental systems theory (DST) is a general theoretical perspective on development, heredity and evolution. It is intended to facilitate the study of interactions between the many factors that influence development without reviving `dichotomous' debates over nature or nurture, gene or environment, biology or culture. Several recent papers have addressed the relationship between DST and the thriving new discipline of evolutionary developmental biology (EDB). The contributions to this literature by evolutionary developmental biologists contain three important misunderstandings of DST.
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  29. Paul E. Griffiths & Andrea Scarantino (2005). Emotions in the Wild: The Situated Perspective on Emotion. In P. Robbins & Murat Aydede (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Situated Cognition. Cambridge University Press.
    Paul E Griffiths Biohumanities Project University of Queensland St Lucia 4072 Australia paul.griffiths@uq.edu.au.
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  30. Paul E. Griffiths (2004). Emotions as Natural and Normative Kinds. Philosophy of Science 71 (5):901-911.
    In earlier work I have claimed that emotion and some emotions are not `natural kinds'. Here I clarify what I mean by `natural kind', suggest a new and more accurate term, and discuss the objection that emotion and emotions are not descriptive categories at all, but fundamentally normative categories.
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  31. Paul E. Griffiths (2004). Is Emotion a Natural Kind? In Robert C. Solomon (ed.), Thinking About Feeling: Contemporary Philosophers on Emotions. Oxford University Press.
    In _What Emotions Really Are: The problem of psychological categories_ I argued that it is unlikely that all the psychological states and processes that fall under the vernacular category of emotion are sufficiently similar to one another to allow a unified scientific psychology of the emotions. In this paper I restate what I mean by ?natural kind? and my argument for supposing that emotion is not a natural kind in this specific sense. In the following sections I discuss the two (...)
     
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  32. Paul E. Griffiths (2004). Instinct in the '50s: The British Reception of Konrad Lorenz's Theory of Instinctive Behavior. Biology and Philosophy 19 (4):609-631.
    At the beginning of the 1950s most students of animal behavior in Britain saw the instinct concept developed by Konrad Lorenz in the 1930s as the central theoretical construct of the new ethology. In the mid 1950s J.B.S. Haldane made substantial efforts to undermine Lorenz''s status as the founder of the new discipline, challenging his priority on key ethological concepts. Haldane was also critical of Lorenz''s sharp distinction between instinctive and learnt behavior. This was inconsistent with Haldane''s account of the (...)
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  33. Paul E. Griffiths (2004). Toward a "Machiavellian" Theory of Emotional Appraisal. In D. Evans & Pierre Cruse (eds.), Emotion, Evolution, and Rationality. Oxford University Press.
    The aim of appraisal theory in the psychology of emotion is to identify the features of the emotion-eliciting situation that lead to the production of one emotion rather than another2. A model of emotional appraisal takes the form of a set of dimensions against which potentially emotion-eliciting situations are assessed. The dimensions of the emotion hyperspace might include, for example, whether the eliciting situation fulfills or frustrates the subject’s goals or whether an actor in the eliciting situation has violated a (...)
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  34. Paul E. Griffiths & Russell D. Cray (2004). The Developmental Systems Perspective. In Massimo Pigliucci & Katherine Preston (eds.), Phenotypic Integration: Studying the Ecology and Evolution of Complex Phenotypes. Oxford University Press. 409.
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  35. Kenneth F. Schaffner, Ullica Segerstrale, Paul E. Griffiths & Steven Pinker (2004). Liberals Ate My Genes? Metascience 13 (1):28-51.
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  36. Karola Stotz, Adam Bostanci & Paul E. Griffiths, Tracking the Shift to 'Postgenomics'.
    Current knowledge about the variety and complexity of the processes that allow regulated gene expression in living organisms calls for a new understanding of genes. A ‘postgenomic’ understanding of genes as entities constituted during genome expression is outlined and illustrated with specific examples that formed part of a survey research instrument developed by two of the authors for an ongoing empirical study of conceptual change in contemporary biology.
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  37. Karola Stotz, Paul E. Griffiths & Rob Knight (2004). How Biologists Conceptualize Genes: An Empirical Study. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 35 (4):647-673.
    Philosophers and historians of biology have argued that genes are conceptualized differently in different fields of biology and that these differences influence both the conduct of research and the interpretation of research by audiences outside the field in which the research was conducted. In this paper we report the results of a questionnaire study of how genes are conceptualized by biological scientists at the University of Sydney, Australia. The results provide tentative support for some hypotheses about conceptual differences between different (...)
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  38. Paul E. Griffiths (2003). Basic Emotions, Complex Emotions, Machiavellian Emotions. In A. Hatimoysis (ed.), Philosophy and the Emotions. Cambridge University Press. 39-67.
    The current state of knowledge in psychology, cognitive neuroscience and behavioral ecology allows a fairly robust characterization of at least some, so-called ‘basic emotions’ - short-lived emotional responses with homologues in other vertebrates. Philosophers, however are understandably more focused on the complex emotion episodes that figure in folk-psychological narratives about mental life, episodes such as the evolving jealousy and anger of a person in an unraveling sexual relationship. One of the most pressing issues for the philosophy of emotion is the (...)
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  39. Paul E. Griffiths, Appraisal and Machiavellian Emotion.
    Emotional appraisal happens at more than one level. Low-level appraisals involve representations that are semantically coarse-grained, fuse the functional roles of belief and desire and have impoverished inferential roles, making it best to think of them as sub-conceptual. Multi-level theories of emotional appraisal are thus best conceived, not as theories of the actual conceptual content of emotional appraisals, but as ecological theories that identify the aspects of the environment that appraisal processes are tracking using diverse cognitive means. These aspects of (...)
     
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  40. Paul E. Griffiths (2002). Emotions. In Stephen P. Stich & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Blackwell Guide to Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell.
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  41. Paul E. Griffiths (2002). Lost: One Gene Concept. Reward to Finder. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 17 (2):271-283.
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  42. Paul E. Griffiths (2002). Review: Unto Others: The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior. [REVIEW] Mind 111 (441):178-182.
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  43. Paul E. Griffiths, The Fearless Vampire Conservator: Phillip Kitcher and Genetic Determinism.
    Genetic determinism is the idea that many significant human characteristics are rendered inevitable by the presence of certain genes. The psychologist Susan Oyama has famously compared arguing against genetic determinism to battling the undead. Oyama suggests that genetic determinism is inherent in the way we currently represent genes and what genes do. As long as genes are represented as containing information about how the organism will develop, they will continue to be regarded as determining causes no matter how much evidence (...)
     
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  44. Paul E. Griffiths, The Fearless Vampire Conservator: Philip Kitcher, Genetic Determinism and the Informational Gene.
    Genetic determinism is the idea that many significant human characteristics are rendered inevitable by the presence of certain genes. The psychologist Susan Oyama has famously compared arguing against genetic determinism to battling the undead. Oyama suggests that genetic determinism is inherent in the way we currently represent genes and what genes do. As long as genes are represented as containing information about how the organism will develop, they will continue to be regarded as determining causes no matter how much evidence (...)
     
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  45. Kim Sterelny & Paul E. Griffiths (2002). Sex and Death. An Introduction to Philosophy of Biology (M. Matthen). Philosophical Books 43 (1):78-78.
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  46. K. C. Stotz & Paul E. Griffiths (2002). Dancing in the Dark: Evolutionary Psychology and the Argument From Design. In S. J. Scher & F. Rauscher (eds.), Evolutionary Psychology: Alternative Approaches. Kluwer.
    The Narrow Evolutionary Psychology Movement represents itself as a major reorientation of the social/behavioral sciences, a group of sciences previously dominated by something called the ‘Standard Social Science Model’ (SSSM; Cosmides, Tooby, and Barkow, 1992). Narrow Evolutionary Psychology alleges that the SSSM treated the mind, and particularly those aspects of the mind that exhibit cultural variation, as devoid of any marks of its evolutionary history. Adherents of Narrow Evolutionary Psychology often suggest that the SSSM owed more to ideology than to (...)
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  47. Paul E. Griffiths, Evolutionary Psychology: History and Current Status.
    The development of evolutionary approaches to psychology from Classical Ethology through Sociobiology to Evolutionary Psychology is outlined and the main tenets of today's Evolutionary Psychology briefly examined: the heuristic value of evolutionary thinking for psychology, the massive modularity thesis and the monomorphic mind thesis.
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  48. Paul E. Griffiths (2001). Genetic Information: A Metaphor in Search of a Theory. Philosophy of Science 68 (3):394-412.
    John Maynard Smith has defended against philosophical criticism the view that developmental biology is the study of the expression of information encoded in the genes by natural selection. However, like other naturalistic concepts of information, this ‘teleosemantic’ information applies to many non-genetic factors in development. Maynard Smith also fails to show that developmental biology is concerned with teleosemantic information. Some other ways to support Maynard Smith’s conclusion are considered. It is argued that on any definition of information the view that (...)
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  49. Paul E. Griffiths (2000). Dedication. Biology and Philosophy 15 (3):299-299.
  50. Paul E. Griffiths (2000). David Hull's Natural Philosophy of Science. Biology and Philosophy 15 (3):301-310.
    Throughout his career David Hull has sought to bring the philosophy of science into closer contact with science and especially with biological science (Hull 1969, 1997b). This effort has taken many forms. Sometimes it has meant ‘either explaining basic biology to philosophers or explaining basic philosophy to biologists’ (Hull 1996, p. 77). The first of these tasks, simple as it sounds, has been responsible for revolutionary changes. It is well known that traditional philosophy of science, modeled as it was on (...)
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