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Profile: Trevor Pearce (University of North Carolina, Charlotte)
  1. Trevor Pearce (2014). Cheryl Misak .The American Pragmatists. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. Pp. Xvi+286. $45.00 (Cloth). Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 4 (1):172-176.
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  2. Gillian Barker, Eric Desjardins & Trevor Pearce (eds.) (2013). Entangled Life: Organism and Environment in the Biological and Social Sciences. Springer.
  3. Trevor Pearce (2013). The Origins and Development of the Idea of Organism-Environment Interaction.". In Gillian Barker, Eric Desjardins & Trevor Pearce (eds.), Entangled Life: Organism and Environment in the Biological and Social Sciences. Springer.
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  4. Martin Barrett, Hayley Clatterbuck, Michael Goldsby, Casey Helgeson, Brian McLoone, Trevor Pearce, Elliott Sober, Reuben Stern & Naftali Weinberger (2012). Puzzles for ZFEL, McShea and Brandon's Zero Force Evolutionary Law. Biology and Philosophy 27 (5):723-735.
    In their 2010 book, Biology’s First Law, D. McShea and R. Brandon present a principle that they call ‘‘ZFEL,’’ the zero force evolutionary law. ZFEL says (roughly) that when there are no evolutionary forces acting on a population, the population’s complexity (i.e., how diverse its member organisms are) will increase. Here we develop criticisms of ZFEL and describe a different law of evolution; it says that diversity and complexity do not change when there are no evolutionary causes.
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  5. Trevor Pearce (2012). Convergence and Parallelism in Evolution: A Neo-Gouldian Account. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (2):429-448.
    Determining whether a homoplastic trait is the result of convergence or parallelism is central to many of the most important contemporary discussions in biology and philosophy: the relation between evolution and development, the importance of constraints on variation, and the role of contingency in evolution. In this article, I show that two recent attempts to draw a black-or-white distinction between convergence and parallelism fail, albeit for different reasons. Nevertheless, I argue that we should not be afraid of gray areas: a (...)
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  6. Trevor Pearce (2012). Philosophy of Biology in the Twenty-First Century. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (1):312-315.
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  7. Trevor Pearce (2011). Evolution and Constraints on Variation: Variant Specification and Range of Assessment. Philosophy of Science 78 (5):739-751.
    There is still a great deal of debate over what counts as a constraint and about how to assess experimentally the relative importance of constraints and selection in evolutionary history. I will argue that the notion of a constraint on variation, and thus the selection-constraint distinction, depends on two specifications: (1) what counts as a variant -- constraints limit or bias the production of what? and (2) range of assessment -- over what range of times or conditions is the variation (...)
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  8. Trevor Pearce (2011). Ecosystem Engineering, Experiment, and Evolution. Biology and Philosophy 26 (6):793-812.
    This paper argues that philosophers should pay more attention to the idea of ecosystem engineering and to the scientific literature surrounding it. Ecosystem engineering is a broad but clearly delimited concept that is less subject to many of the “it encompasses too much” criticisms that philosophers have directed at niche construction . The limitations placed on the idea of ecosystem engineering point the way to a narrower idea of niche construction. Moreover, experimental studies in the ecosystem engineering literature provide detailed (...)
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  9. Trevor Pearce (2011). Meeting Report: Fourth ISHPSSB Off-Year Workshop. Biology and Philosophy 26 (2):315-316.
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  10. Trevor Pearce (2010). "A Great Complication of Circumstances" – Darwin and the Economy of Nature. Journal of the History of Biology 43 (3):493 - 528.
    In 1749, Linnaeus presided over the dissertation "Oeconomia Naturae," which argued that each creature plays an important and particular role in nature's economy. This phrase should be familiar to readers of Darwin, for he claims in the Origin that "all organic beings are striving, it may be said, to seize on each place in the economy of nature." Many scholars have discussed the influence of political economy on Darwin's ideas. In this paper, I take a different tack, showing that Darwin's (...)
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  11. Trevor Pearce (2010). From 'Circumstances' to 'Environment': Herbert Spencer and the Origins of the Idea of Organism–Environment Interaction. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 41 (3):241-252.
    The word ‘environment’ has a history. Before the mid-nineteenth century, the idea of a singular, abstract entity—the organism—interacting with another singular, abstract entity—the environment—was virtually unknown. In this paper I trace how the idea of a plurality of external conditions or circumstances was replaced by the idea of a singular environment. The central figure behind this shift, at least in Anglo-American intellectual life, was the philosopher Herbert Spencer. I examine Spencer’s work from 1840 to 1855, demonstrating that he was exposed (...)
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