Search results for 'polymorphisms in biological kinds' (try it on Scholar)

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  1. Mohan Matthen (2013). Millikan's Historical Kinds. In Dan Ryder, Justine Kingsbury & Kenneth Williford (eds.), Millikan and Her Critics. John Wiley & Sons. 135--154.score: 468.0
  2. Jessica Bolker (2013). The Use of Natural Kinds in Evolutionary Developmental Biology. Biological Theory 7 (2):121-129.score: 367.5
    Evolutionary developmental biologists categorize many different kinds of things, from ontogenetic stages to modules of gene activity. The process of categorization—the establishment of “kinds”—is an implicit part of describing the natural world in consistent, useful ways, and has an essentially practical rather than philosophical basis. Kinds commonly serve one of three purposes: they may function (1) as practical tools for communication; (2) to support prediction and generalization; or (3) as a basis for theoretical discussions. Beyond the minimal (...)
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  3. Pablo Schyfter (2012). Technological Biology? Things and Kinds in Synthetic Biology. Biology and Philosophy 27 (1):29-48.score: 339.0
    Social scientific and humanistic research on synthetic biology has focused quite narrowly on questions of epistemology and ELSI. I suggest that to understand this discipline in its full scope, researchers must turn to the objects of the field—synthetic biological artifacts—and study them as the objects in the making of a science yet to be made. I consider one fundamentally important question: how should we understand the material products of synthetic biology? Practitioners in the field, employing a consistent technological optic (...)
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  4. Massimiliano Carrara & Pieter E. Vermaas (2009). The Fine-Grained Metaphysics of Artifactual and Biological Functional Kinds. Synthese 169 (1):125 - 143.score: 334.5
    In this paper we consider the emerging position in metaphysics that artifact functions characterize real kinds of artifacts. We analyze how it can circumvent an objection by David Wiggins (Sameness and substance renewed, 2001, 87) and then argue that this position, in comparison to expert judgments, amounts to an interesting fine-grained metaphysics: taking artifact functions as (part of the) essences of artifacts leads to distinctions between principles of activity of artifacts that experts in technology have not yet made. We (...)
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  5. Marcel Weber, Reference, Truth, and Biological Kinds. In: J. Dutant, D. Fassio and A. Meylan (Eds.) Liber Amicorum Pascal Engel.score: 333.0
    This paper examines causal theories of reference with respect to how plausible an account they give of non-physical natural kind terms such as ‘gene’ as well as of the truth of the associated theoretical claims. I first show that reference fixism for ‘gene’ fails. By this, I mean the claim that the reference of ‘gene’ was stable over longer historical periods, for example, since the classical period of transmission genetics. Second, I show that the theory of partial reference does not (...)
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  6. Sean A. Valles (2013). Validity and Utility in Biological Traits. Biological Theory 8 (1):93-102.score: 300.0
    “Trait” is a ubiquitous term in biology, but its precise meaning and theoretical foundations remain opaque. After distinguishing between “trait” and “character,” I argue for the value of adopting Theodosius Dobzhansky’s 1956 definition and framework for understanding “trait,” which holds that traits are just “semantic devices” that artificially impose order on continuous biological phenomena. I elaborate on this definition to distinguish between trait validity (compliance with Dobzhansky’s trait definition) and trait utility (usefulness of a trait). As a consequence of (...)
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  7. Marc Ereshefsky (2004). Bridging the Gap Between Human Kinds and Biological Kinds. Philosophy of Science 71 (5):912-921.score: 283.5
    Many writers claim that human kinds are significantly different from biological and natural kinds. Some suggest that humans kinds are unique because social structures are essential for the etiology of human kinds. Others argue that human cultural evolution is decidedly different from other forms of evolution. In this paper I suggest that the gulf between humans and our biological relatives is not as wide as some argue. There is a taxonomic difference between human and (...)
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  8. Philippe Huneman (2010). Topological Explanations and Robustness in Biological Sciences. Synthese 177 (2):213-245.score: 283.5
    This paper argues that besides mechanistic explanations, there is a kind of explanation that relies upon “topological” properties of systems in order to derive the explanandum as a consequence, and which does not consider mechanisms or causal processes. I first investigate topological explanations in the case of ecological research on the stability of ecosystems. Then I contrast them with mechanistic explanations, thereby distinguishing the kind of realization they involve from the realization relations entailed by mechanistic explanations, and explain how both (...)
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  9. John Dupré (2004). Human Kinds and Biological Kinds: Some Similarities and Differences. Philosophy of Science 71 (5):892-900.score: 283.5
    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 (...)
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  10. Peter Simons (2013). Vague Kinds and Biological Nominalism. Metaphysica 14 (2):275-282.score: 283.5
    Among biological kinds, the most important are species. But species, however defined, have vague boundaries, both synchronically owing to hybridization and ongoing speciation, and diachronically owing to genetic drift and genealogical continuity despite speciation. It is argued that the solution to the problems of species and their vague boundaries is to adopt a thoroughgoing nominalism in regard to all biological taxa, from species to domains. The base entities are individual organisms: populations of these compose species and higher (...)
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  11. Ingvar Johansson (2007). Continua in Biological Systems. The Monist 90 (4):499-522.score: 283.5
    We defend the fundamental ontological-pragmatic principle that where there are continua in reality science is often forced to make partly fiat terminological delimitations. In particular, this principle applies when it comes to describing biological organisms, their parts, properties, and relations. Human-made fiat delimitations are indispensable at the level of both individuals and the natural kinds which they instantiate. The kinds of pragmatically based ‘fiatness’ that we describe can create incompatibilities and lack of interoperability even between properly designed (...)
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  12. John S. Wilkins (forthcoming). Biological Essentialism and the Tidal Change of Natural Kinds. Science and Education.score: 279.0
    The vision of natural kinds that is most common in the modern philosophy of biology, particularly with respect to the question whether species and other taxa are natural kinds, is based on a revision of the notion by Mill in A System of Logic. However, there was another conception that Whewell had previously captured well, which taxonomists have always employed, of kinds as being types that need not have necessary and sufficient characters and properties, or essences. These (...)
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  13. Seumas Miller & Michael J. Selgelid (2007). Ethical and Philosophical Consideration of the Dual-Use Dilemma in the Biological Sciences. Science and Engineering Ethics 13 (4):523-580.score: 279.0
    The dual-use dilemma arises in the context of research in the biological and other sciences as a consequence of the fact that one and the same piece of scientific research sometimes has the potential to be used for bad as well as good purposes. It is an ethical dilemma since it is about promoting good in the context of the potential for also causing harm, e.g., the promotion of health in the context of providing the wherewithal for the killing (...)
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  14. G. McOuat (2001). From Cutting Nature at its Joints to Measuring It: New Kinds and New Kinds of People in Biology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 32 (4):613-645.score: 272.5
    In the received version of the development of science, natural kinds are established in the preliminary stages (natural history) and made more precise by measurement (exact science). By examining the move from nineteenth- to twentieth-century biology, this paper unpacks the notion of species as 'natural kinds' and grounds for discourse, questioning received notions about both kinds and species. Life sciences in the nineteenth century established several 'monster-barring' techniques to block disputes about the precise definition of species. Counterintuitively, (...)
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  15. C. Kenneth Waters (1998). Causal Regularities in the Biological World of Contingent Distributions. Biology and Philosophy 13 (1):5-36.score: 270.0
    Former discussions of biological generalizations have focused on the question of whether there are universal laws of biology. These discussions typically analyzed generalizations out of their investigative and explanatory contexts and concluded that whatever biological generalizations are, they are not universal laws. The aim of this paper is to explain what biological generalizations are by shifting attention towards the contexts in which they are drawn. I argue that within the context of any particular biological explanation or (...)
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  16. David B. Kitts & David J. Kitts (1979). Biological Species as Natural Kinds. Philosophy of Science 46 (4):613-622.score: 261.0
    The fact that the names of biological species refer independently of identifying descriptions does not support the view of Ghiselin and Hull that species are individuals. Species may be regarded as natural kinds whose members share an essence which distinguishes them from the members of other species and accounts for the fact that they are reproductively isolated from the members of other species. Because evolutionary theory requires that species be spatiotemporally localized their names cannot occur in scientific laws. (...)
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  17. Crawford L. Elder (2008). Biological Species Are Natural Kinds. Southern Journal of Philosophy 46 (3):339-362.score: 261.0
    This paper argues that typical biological species are natural kinds, on a familiar realist understanding of natural kinds—classes of individuals across which certain properties cluster together, in virtue of the causal workings of the world. But the clustering is far from exceptionless. Virtually no properties, or property-combinations, characterize every last member of a typical species—unless they can also appear outside the species. This motivates some to hold that what ties together the members of a species is the (...)
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  18. Mark Ereshefsky, Natural Kinds in Biology.score: 250.5
    It is commonly held that objects in the world form natural kinds. Rabbits form a natural kind and so do all pieces of gold. The traditional account of natural kinds asserts that the members of a kind share a common essence. The essence of gold, for example, is its unique atomic structure. That structure occurs in all and only pieces of gold, and it is a property that all pieces of gold must have.
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  19. Miles MacLeod & Thomas A. C. Reydon (2013). Natural Kinds in Philosophy and in the Life Sciences: Scholastic Twilight or New Dawn? [REVIEW] Biological Theory 7 (2):89-99.score: 243.0
    This article, which is intended both as a position paper in the philosophical debate on natural kinds and as the guest editorial to this thematic issue, takes up the challenge posed by Ian Hacking in his paper, “Natural Kinds: Rosy Dawn, Scholastic Twilight.” Whereas a straightforward interpretation of that paper suggests that according to Hacking the concept of natural kinds should be abandoned, both in the philosophy of science and in philosophy more generally, we suggest that an (...)
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  20. Olivier Rieppel (2013). Biological Individuals and Natural Kinds. Biological Theory 7 (2):162-169.score: 243.0
    This paper takes a hierarchical approach to the question whether species are individuals or natural kinds. The thesis defended here is that species are spatiotemporally located complex wholes (individuals), that are composed of (i.e., include) causally interdependent parts, which collectively also instantiate a homeostatic property cluster (HPC) natural kind. Species may form open or closed genetic systems that are dynamic in nature, that have fuzzy boundaries due to the processual nature of speciation, that may have leaky boundaries as is (...)
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  21. Ingo Brigandt (2004). Biological Kinds and the Causal Theory of Reference. In J. C. Marek & M. E. Reicher (eds.), Experience and Analysis: Papers of the 27th International Wittgenstein Symposium. Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society.score: 235.5
    This paper uses an example from biology, the homology concept, to argue that current versions of the causal theory of reference give an incomplete account of reference determination. It is suggested that in addition to samples and stereotypical properties, the scientific use of concepts and the epistemic interests pursued with concepts are important factors in determining the reference of natural kind terms.
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  22. William P. Bechtel (1982). Two Common Errors in Explaining Biological and Psychological Phenomena. Philosophy of Science 49 (December):549-574.score: 232.5
    One way in which philosophy of science can perform a valuable normative function for science is by showing characteristic errors made in scientific research programs and proposing ways in which such errors can be avoided or corrected. This paper examines two errors that have commonly plagued research in biology and psychology: 1) functional localization errors that arise when parts of a complex system are assigned functions which these parts are not themselves able to perform, and 2) vacuous functional explanations in (...)
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  23. John S. Wilkins, Essentialism in Biology.score: 219.8
    Essentialism in philosophy is the position that things, especially kinds of things, have essences, or sets of properties, that all members of the kind must have, and the combination of which only members of the kind do, in fact, have. It is usually thought to derive from classical Greek philosophy and in particular from Aristotle’s notion of “what it is to be” something. In biology, it has been claimed that pre-evolutionary views of living kinds, or as they are (...)
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  24. John S. Wilkins & Malte C. Ebach (2013). The Nature of Classification: Relationships and Kinds in the Natural Sciences. Palgrave Macmillan.score: 216.0
    The Nature of Classification discusses an old and generally ignored issue in the philosophy of science: natural classification. It argues for classification to be a sometimes theory-free activity in science, and discusses the existence of scientific domains, theory-dependence of observation, the inferential relations of classification and theory, and the nature of the classificatory activity in general. It focuses on biological classification, but extends the discussion to physics, psychiatry, meteorology and other special sciences.
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  25. Evelyn Fox Keller & Margaret S. Ewing (1993). The Kinds of" Individuals" One Finds in Evolutionary Biology. In Matthew Nitecki & Doris Nitecki (eds.), Evolutionary Ethics. Suny Press.score: 215.0
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  26. Bence Nanay (2011). Three Ways of Resisting Essentialism About Natural Kinds. In J. K. Campbell & M. H. Slater (eds.), Carving Nature at its Joints. Topics in Contemporary Philosophy, Vol. 8. MIT Press. 175--97.score: 207.0
    Essentialism about natural kinds has three tenets. The first tenet is that all and only members of a natural kind has some essential properties. The second tenet is that these essential properties play a causal role. The third tenet is that they are explanatorily relevant. I examine the prospects of questioning these tenets and point out that arguing against the first and the second tenets of kind-essentialism would involve taking parts in some of the grand debates of philosophy. But, (...)
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  27. Martin Mahner (1993). What Is a Species? A Contribution to the Never Ending Species Debate in Biology. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 24 (1):103 - 126.score: 205.5
    The continuing discussion of the species problem suffers from the lack of a coherent ontological theory as a basis for determining whether species have an ontological status. It has attempted to apply a full-fledged metaphysical theory to the species problem: the ontology of Mario Bunge. In doing so a few ontological fundamentals including system, individual, real and conceptual object, and law are briefly introduced. It is with the help of these fundamentals that an analysis of the species-as-individuals thesis is carried (...)
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  28. Romain Schneckenburger (2011). Biological Psychiatry and Normative Problems: From Nosology to Destigmatization Campaigns. Medicine Studies 3 (1):9-17.score: 198.0
    Psychiatry is becoming a cognitive neuroscience. This new paradigm not only aims to give new ways for explaining mental diseases by naturalizing them, but also to have an influence on different levels of psychiatric norms. We tried here to verify whether a biological paradigm is able to fulfill this normative goal. We analyzed three main normative assumptions that is to say the will of giving psychiatry a valid nosology, a rigorous definition of what is a mental disease, and new (...)
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  29. Karel Kleisner (2007). The Formation of the Theory of Homology in Biological Sciences. Acta Biotheoretica 55 (4).score: 190.0
    Homology is among the most important comparative concepts in biology. Today, the evolutionary reinterpretation of homology is usually conceived of as the most important event in the development of the concept. This paradigmatic turning point, however important for the historical explanation of life, is not of crucial importance for the development of the concept of homology itself. In the broadest sense, homology can be understood as sameness in reference to the universal guarantor so that in this sense the different concepts (...)
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  30. Ronald de Sousa (1989). Kinds of Kinds: Individuality and Biological Species. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 3 (2):119 – 135.score: 189.0
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  31. Ann-Sophie Barwich & Alba Amilburu (2011). Bridging Disciplines? An Inquiry on the Future of Natural Kinds in Philosophy and the Life Sciences. Biological Theory 6 (2):187-190.score: 189.0
  32. Ann-Sophie Barwich & Alba Amilburu (2012). Bridging Disciplines? An Inquiry on the Future of Natural Kinds in Philosophy and the Life Sciences: Natural Kinds in Philosophy and in the Life Sciences: Scholastic Twilight or New Dawn? Granada, Spain, 7–9 September 2011 (Meeting Report). [REVIEW] Biological Theory 6 (2):187-190.score: 189.0
     
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  33. L. Brulé & F. Labrell (2014). Expertise in Biological Conceptions: The Case of the Vineyard. Thinking and Reasoning 20 (4):432-453.score: 188.5
    To study how expertise impacts the understanding of a complex system like the vineyard, three measures were used with 259 participants (190 non-experts, 34 winemakers and/or winegrowers, and 35 biologists): a questionnaire to check for expertise (the Plant Biology Questionnaire), a task about the Structure, Behaviour and Function model, and a measure of the content of the participants? discourse with the ALCESTE software. Results showed that biologists mentioned functions significantly more often than behaviours, whereas it was the opposite for winegrowers. (...)
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  34. Ingo Brigandt (2009). Natural Kinds in Evolution and Systematics: Metaphysical and Epistemological Considerations. Acta Biotheoretica 57:77-97.score: 184.5
    Despite the traditional focus on metaphysical issues in discussions of natural kinds in biology, epistemological considerations are at least as important. By revisiting the debate as to whether taxa are kinds or individuals, I argue that both accounts are metaphysically compatible, but that one or the other approach can be pragmatically preferable depending on the epistemic context. Recent objections against construing species as homeostatic property cluster kinds are also addressed. The second part of the paper broadens the (...)
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  35. Peter Godfrey-Smith (2007). Information in Biology. In David L. Hull & Michael Ruse (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to the Philosophy of Biology. Cambridge University Press. 103--119.score: 183.0
    The concept of information has acquired a strikingly prominent role in contemporary biology. This trend is especially marked within genetics, but it has also become important in other areas, such as evolutionary theory and developmental biology, particularly where these fields border on genetics. The most distinctive biological role for informational concepts, and the one that has generated the most discussion, is in the description of the relations between genes and the various structures and processes that genes play a role (...)
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  36. William Harms (1999). Biological Altruism in Hostile Environments. Complexity 5 (2):23-28.score: 183.0
    The evolution of economic altruism is one of the most vigorous areas of study at the intersection of biology, economics, and philosophy. The basic problem is easily understood. Biological organisms, be they people or paramecia, have ample opportunity to confer benefits on others at relatively low cost to themselves. If conferring such benefits becomes common, the overall productivity of the population in which it occurs is increased. Presumably, there is no advantage to refusing such benefits, but it is also (...)
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  37. Andrés Luis Jaume Rodríguez (2008). The Sources of Normativity in the Biological Functions. Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 44:33-44.score: 183.0
    I present an outline of a normative and non selectionist theory capable of ascribing functional statements to biological items. Biological items are ussually exemplified by the organs as well as traits or behaviours. But we can consider representations too. In fact, my proposal is focused towards a teleosemantical theory of mental content. The teleosemantic approach explains the content of beliefs in terms of the biological functions of those states. Usually, teleosemantical theories of mental representation either ellaborate previously (...)
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  38. John Dupré (2012). Processes of Life: Essays in the Philosophy of Biology. OUP Oxford.score: 181.5
    John Dupré explores recent revolutionary developments in biology and considers their relevance for our understanding of human nature and human society. Epigenetics and related areas of molecular biology have eroded the exceptional status of the gene and presented the genome as fully interactive with the rest of the cell. Developmental systems theory provides a space for a vision of evolution that takes full account of the fundamental importance of developmental processes. Dupré shows the importance of microbiology for a proper understanding (...)
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  39. Steven French (2011). Shifting to Structures in Physics and Biology: A Prophylactic for Promiscuous Realism. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 42 (2):164-173.score: 180.0
    Within the philosophy of science, the realism debate has been revitalised by the development of forms of structural realism. These urge a shift in focus from the object oriented ontologies that come and go through the history of science to the structures that remain through theory change. Such views have typically been elaborated in the context of theories of physics and are motivated by, first of all, the presence within such theories of mathematical equations that allow straightforward representation of the (...)
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  40. Ingo Brigandt (2013). Explanation in Biology: Reduction, Pluralism, and Explanatory Aims. Science and Education 22 (1):69-91.score: 180.0
    This essay analyzes and develops recent views about explanation in biology. Philosophers of biology have parted with the received deductive-nomological model of scientific explanation primarily by attempting to capture actual biological theorizing and practice. This includes an endorsement of different kinds of explanation (e.g., mathematical and causal-mechanistic), a joint study of discovery and explanation, and an abandonment of models of theory reduction in favor of accounts of explanatory reduction. Of particular current interest are philosophical accounts of complex explanations (...)
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  41. Thomas Junker (1996). Factors Shaping Ernst Mayr's Concepts in the History of Biology. Journal of the History of Biology 29 (1):29 - 77.score: 178.5
    As frequently pointed out in this discussion, one of the most characteristic features of Mayr's approach to the history of biology stems from the fact that he is dealing to a considerable degree with his own professional history. Furthermore, his main criterion for the selection of historical episodes is their relevance for modern biological theory. As W. F. Bynum and others have noted, the general impression of his reviewers is that “one of the towering figures of evolutionary biology has (...)
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  42. Makmiller Pedroso (2014). Origin Essentialism in Biology. Philosophical Quarterly 64 (254):60-81.score: 178.5
    Kripke argues for origin essentialism, the view that the same individual cannot have multiple origins. Sober hypothesises that Kripke's origin essentialism applies to biological species. This paper shows that Sober's hypothesis fails. Because Kripke's original argument is invalid, it cannot vindicate Sober's proposal. Salmon offers an influential reformulation of Kripke's argument but his argument fails to extend to species: the notion of an individual's origin is too narrow to apply to species, and Salmon's argument rests on a thought experiment (...)
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  43. Robert A. Wilson (2005). Genes and the Agents of Life: The Individual in the Fragile Sciences, Biology. Cambridge University Press.score: 177.0
    What are the agents of life? Central to our conception of the biological world is the idea that it contains various kinds of individuals, including genes, organisms, and species. How we conceive of these agents of life is central to our understanding of the relationship between life and mind, the place of hierarchical thinking in the biological sciences, and pluralistic views of biological agency. Genes and the Agents of Life rethinks the place of the individual in (...)
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  44. Lee Mcintyre (1997). Gould on Laws in Biological Science. Biology and Philosophy 12 (3):357-367.score: 176.0
    Are there laws in evolutionary biology? Stephen J. Gould has argued that there are factors unique to biological theorizing which prevent the formulation of laws in biology, in contradistinction to the case in physics and chemistry. Gould offers the problem of complexity as just such a fundamental barrier to biological laws in general, and to Dollos Law in particular. But I argue that Gould fails to demonstrate: (1) that Dollos Law is not law-like, (2) that the alleged failure (...)
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  45. Laura Perini (2005). Explanation in Two Dimensions: Diagrams and Biological Explanation. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 20 (2-3):257-269.score: 174.0
    Molecular biologists and biochemists often use diagrams to present hypotheses. Analysis of diagrams shows that their content can be expressed with linguistic representations. Why do biologists use visual representations instead? One reason is simple comprehensibility: some diagrams present information which is readily understood from the diagram format, but which would not be comprehensible if the same information was expressed linguistically. But often diagrams are used even when concise, comprehensible linguistic alternatives are available. I explain this phenomenon by showing why diagrammatic (...)
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  46. Xavier Donato Rodríguez & Alfonso Arroyo Santos (2012). The Structure of Idealization in Biological Theories: The Case of the Wright-Fisher Model. [REVIEW] Journal for General Philosophy of Science 43 (1):11-27.score: 174.0
    In this paper we present a new framework of idealization in biology. We characterize idealizations as a network of counterfactual and hypothetical conditionals that can exhibit different “degrees of contingency”. We use this idea to say that, in departing more or less from the actual world, idealizations can serve numerous epistemic, methodological or heuristic purposes within scientific research. We defend that, in part, this structure explains why idealizations, despite being deformations of reality, are so successful in scientific practice. For illustrative (...)
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  47. Xavier de Donato Rodríguez & Alfonso Arroyo Santos (2012). The Structure of Idealization in Biological Theories: The Case of the Wright-Fisher Model. [REVIEW] Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 43 (1):11 - 27.score: 174.0
    In this paper we present a new framework of idealization in biology. We characterize idealizations as a network of counterfactual and hypothetical conditionals that can exhibit different "degrees of contingency". We use this idea to say that, in departing more or less from the actual world, idealizations can serve numerous epistemic, methodological or heuristic purposes within scientific research. We defend that, in part, this structure explains why idealizations, despite being deformations of reality, are so successful in scientific practice. For illustrative (...)
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