Year:

  1.  1
    Immunoceptive Inference: Why Are Psychiatric Disorders and Immune Responses Intertwined?Karl Friston, Maxwell Ramstead, Thomas Parr & Anjali Bhat - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (3):1-24.
    There is a steadily growing literature on the role of the immune system in psychiatric disorders. So far, these advances have largely taken the form of correlations between specific aspects of inflammation with the development of neuropsychiatric conditions such as autism, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and depression. A fundamental question remains open: why are psychiatric disorders and immune responses intertwined? To address this would require a step back from a historical mind–body dualism that has created such a dichotomy. We propose three (...)
    No categories
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  2.  9
    Natural Information, Factivity and Nomicity.Ben Baker - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (2):1-21.
    Biological and cognitive sciences rely heavily on the idea of information transmitted between natural events or processes. This paper critically assesses some current philosophical views of natural information and defends a view of natural information as Nomic and Factive. Dretske offered a Factive view of information, and recent work on the topic has tended to reject this aspect of his view in favor of a non-Factive, probabilistic approach. This paper argues that the reasoning behind this move to non-Factivity is flawed (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
    Translate
     
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  3.  12
    Out of Our Skull, in Our Skin: The Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis and the Extended Cognition Thesis.Federico Boem, Gabriele Ferretti & Silvano Zipoli Caiani - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (2):1-32.
    According to a shared functionalist view in philosophy of mind, a cognitive system, and cognitive function thereof, is based on the components of the organism it is realized by which, indeed, play a causal role in regulating our cognitive processes. This led philosophers to suggest also that, thus, cognition could be seen as an extended process, whose vehicle can extend not only outside the brain but also beyond bodily boundaries, on different kinds of devices. This is what we call the (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  4.  4
    Function and Representational Content Through Tinbergen’s Levels of Analysis.James Brooks - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (2):1-12.
    Teleosemantics attempts to explain the content of mental representations through an appeal to functions, and typically attributes function to selection history. The narrowest cases focus on only evolutionary fitness benefit through natural selection, while broader theories have come to accept multiple levels of selection, including those over the course of a lifetime such as neural selection. The precise way to define function has given rise to many debates over the content of hypothetical mental representations. In this paper, I argue that (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  5.  55
    The Extra Ingredient.Richard Brown, Joseph LeDoux & David Rosenthal - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (2):1-4.
    Birch et. al. see their model as incompatible with higher-order-thought (HOT) theories of consciousness, on which a state is conscious if one is in some suitable way aware of that state. They see higher-order (HO) awareness as an “extra ingredient”. But since Birch et al go on to say that “[t]his is not the place for a detailed discussion of HOT theories,” they don’t address why they take HO awareness to be an extra ingredient or why HOT theorists are convinced (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  6. Cooperation, Correlation and the Evolutionary Dominance of Tag-Based Strategies.Justin P. Bruner - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (2):1-20.
    Cooperation in the prisoner’s dilemma is possible if interactions are sufficiently correlated. We show that when conditions favorable to the evolution of cooperation hold tag-based strategies dominate. Thus, well-meaning interventions aimed at promoting cooperation may succeed but will often lead to in-group favoritism and ethnocentric behavior. Exploring ways that promote cooperation but do not usher in tag-based strategies should be a focal point of future work on the evolution of cooperation.
    No categories
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  7.  15
    Perceptual Awareness or Phenomenal Consciousness?A Dilemma.Peter Carruthers & Christopher F. Masciari - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (2):1-5.
    We present Birch and colleagues with a dilemma. On one interpretation, they aim to chart the distribution of a sort of minimal perceptual awareness across the animal kingdom, where that awareness can be fully characterized in third-person psychological terms. On this interpretation, the project is worthy but dull, since it doesn’t touch the question that has excited most people: whether other animals are phenomenally conscious. On an alternative interpretation, in contrast, they hope to resolve this latter question, arguing that phenomenal (...)
    No categories
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  8.  29
    The Free Energy Principle: It’s Not About What It Takes, It’s About What Took You There.Axel Constant - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (2):1-17.
    Philosophical writings on the free energy principle in the life sciences often give the impression that minimising free energy is sufficient for life. But minimising free energy is not a sufficient condition for life. In fact, one can perfectly well conceive of a system that actively minimises its free energy, and for this very reason moves inexorably towards death. So, where does the assumption of this entailment relation come from? There is indeed an entailment relation, but it goes the other (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  9.  1
    Assessing Unlimited Associative Learning as a Transition Marker: Commentary on Birch Et Al. 2020, Unlimited Associative Learning and the Origins of Consciousness: A Primer and Some Predictions.Elizabeth Irvine - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (2):1-5.
    The target paper makes a significant and novel claim: that positive cases of non-human consciousness can be identified via the capacity of unlimited associative learning. In turn, this claim is generated by a novel methodology, which is that of identifying an evolutionary ‘transition marker’, which is claimed to have theoretical and empirical advantages over other approaches. In this commentary I argue that UAL does not function as a successful transition marker, and has internal problems of its own. However, I conclude (...)
    No categories
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  10.  10
    Unlimited plasticity of embodied, cognitive subjects: a new playground for the UAL framework.Michael Levin - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (2):1-5.
    Birch, Ginsburg, and Jablonka lay out a very convincing case for an important transition marker: unlimited associative learning. Especially welcome are the empirical predictions. I focus here not on the question of how to infer phenomenal consciousness from this behavioral metric, but on possible novel applications of this useful and fundamental framework. Specifically, I highlight two aspects of biology that are often not considered in philosophy of mind approaches that focus on natural species and evolutionary time scales. These are the (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
    Translate
     
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  11.  5
    The Living Fossil Concept: Reply to Turner.Scott Lidgard & Alan C. Love - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (2):1-16.
    Despite the iconic roles of coelacanths, cycads, tadpole shrimps, and tuataras as taxa that demonstrate a pattern of morphological stability over geological time, their status as living fossils is contested. We responded to these controversies with a recommendation to rethink the function of the living fossil concept. Concepts in science do useful work beyond categorizing particular items and we argued that the diverse and sometimes conflicting criteria associated with categorizing items as living fossils represent a complex problem space associated with (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  12.  7
    On plants and principles: Invited commentary on Birch, Ginsburg and Jablonka’s target article Unlimited Associative Learning and the Origins of Consciousness: A Primer and Some Predictions.Adam Linson, Aditya Ponkshe & Paco Calvo - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (2):1-4.
    Direct download (3 more)  
    Translate
     
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  13.  3
    Unlimited Associative Learning and Consciousness: Further Support and Some Caveats About a Link to Stress.Jon Mallatt - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (2):1-6.
    Birch, Ginsburg, and Jablonka, in an article in this issue of Biology and Philosophy, provided a much-needed condensation of their well-reasoned theory of Unlimited Associative Learning. This theory compellingly identifies the conscious animals and the time when the evolutionary transition to consciousness was completed. The authors convincingly explained their use of UAL as a “transition marker,” identified two more features by which UAL can be recognized, showed how UAL’s learning features relate to consciousness, and how investigating consciousness is analogous to (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  14.  1
    Attention explains the transition to unlimited associative learning better than consciousness.Carlos Montemayor - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (2):1-5.
    This commentary focuses on the importance of attention skills in the development of universal associative learning, and it explains why the centrality of attention in UAL presents a considerable difficulty for the UAL approach. Attentional abilities are not just developmentally related to UAL but are in fact explanatory of UAL. The main problem is that all the types of attention involved in UAL can be dissociated from consciousness. This means that while attention skills for UAL might be necessary for consciousness, (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
    Translate
     
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  15.  14
    Is Free-Energy Minimisation the Mark of the Cognitive?Matt Sims & Julian Kiverstein - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (2):1-27.
    A mark of the cognitive should allow us to specify theoretical principles for demarcating cognitive from non-cognitive causes of behaviour in organisms. Specific criteria are required to settle the question of when in the evolution of life cognition first emerged. An answer to this question should however avoid two pitfalls. It should avoid overintellectualising the minds of other organisms, ascribing to them cognitive capacities for which they have no need given the lives they lead within the niches they inhabit. But (...)
    No categories
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  16.  14
    Towards Ending the Animal Cognition War: A Three-Dimensional Model of Causal Cognition.Tobias Benjamin Starzak & Russell David Gray - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (2):1-24.
    Debates in animal cognition are frequently polarized between the romantic view that some species have human-like causal understanding and the killjoy view that human causal reasoning is unique. These apparently endless debates are often characterized by conceptual confusions and accusations of straw-men positions. What is needed is an account of causal understanding that enables researchers to investigate both similarities and differences in cognitive abilities in an incremental evolutionary framework. Here we outline the ways in which a three-dimensional model of causal (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  17.  4
    Homology thinking reconciles the conceptual conflict between typological and population thinking.Daichi G. Suzuki - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (2):1-17.
    This paper attempts to reconcile the conceptual conflict between typological and population thinking to provide a philosophical foundation for extended evolutionary synthesis. Typological thinking has been considered a pre-Darwinian, essentialist dogma incompatible with population thinking, which is the core notion of Darwinism. More recent philosophical and historical studies suggest that a non-essentialist form of typology has some advantages in the study of evolutionary biology. However, even if we adopt such an epistemological interpretation of typological thinking, there still remains an epistemological (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
    Translate
     
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  18.  34
    Broadening the Problem Agenda of Biological Individuality: Individual Differences, Uniqueness and Temporality.Rose Trappes & Marie I. Kaiser - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (2):1-28.
    Biological individuality is a notoriously thorny topic for biologists and philosophers of biology. In this paper we argue that biological individuality presents multiple, interconnected questions for biologists and philosophers that together form a problem agenda. Using a case study of an interdisciplinary research group in ecology, behavioral and evolutionary biology, we claim that a debate on biological individuality that seeks to account for diverse practices in the biological sciences should be broadened to include and give prominence to questions about uniqueness (...)
    No categories
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  19.  1
    A Universal Ethology Challenge to the Free Energy Principle: Species of Inference and Good Regulators.Thomas van Es & Michael D. Kirchhoff - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (2):1-24.
    The free energy principle portends to provide a unifying principle for the biological and cognitive sciences. It states that for a system to maintain non-equilibrium steady-state with its environment it must minimise its free energy. Under the FEP, to minimise free energy is equivalent to engaging in approximate Bayesian inference. According to the FEP, therefore, inference is at the explanatory base of biology and cognition. In this paper, we discuss a specific challenge to this inferential formulation of adaptive self-organisation. We (...)
    No categories
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  20.  6
    The Evolution of Episodic-Like Memory: The Importance of Biological and Ecological Constraints.Bas van Woerkum - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (2):1-18.
    A persisting question in the philosophy of animal minds is which nonhuman animals share our capacity for episodic memory. Many authors address this question by primarily defining EM, trying to capture its seemingly unconstrained flexibility and independence from environmental and bodily constraints. EM is therefore often opposed to clearly context-bound capacities like tracking environmental regularities and forming associations. The problem is that conceptualizing EM in humans first, and then reconstructing how humans evolved this capacity, provides little constraints for understanding the (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  21.  6
    Complex Vocal Learning and Three-Dimensional Mating Environments.Jan Verpooten - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (2):1-31.
    Complex vocal learning, the capacity to imitate new sounds, underpins the evolution of animal vocal cultures and song dialects and is a key prerequisite for human speech and song. Due to its relevance for the understanding of cultural evolution and the biology and evolution of language and music, the trait has gained much scholarly attention. However, while we have seen tremendous progress with respect to our understanding of its morphological, neurological and genetic aspects, its peculiar phylogenetic distribution has remained elusive. (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  22. Toolmaking and the evolution of normative cognition.Jonathan Birch - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (1):1-26.
    We are all guided by thousands of norms, but how did our capacity for normative cognition evolve? I propose there is a deep but neglected link between normative cognition and practical skill. In modern humans, complex motor skills and craft skills, such as toolmaking, are guided by internally represented norms of correct performance. Moreover, it is plausible that core components of human normative cognition evolved as a solution to the distinctive problems of transmitting complex motor skills and craft skills, especially (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
    Translate
     
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  23.  15
    Evolutionary Biology Meets Consciousness: Essay Review of Simona Ginsburg and Eva Jablonka’s The Evolution of the Sensitive Soul.Heather Browning & Walter Veit - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (1):1-11.
    In this essay, we discuss Simona Ginsburg and Eva Jablonka’s The Evolution of the Sensitive Soul from an interdisciplinary perspective. Constituting perhaps the longest treatise on the evolution of consciousness, Ginsburg and Jablonka unite their expertise in neuroscience and biology to develop a beautifully Darwinian account of the dawning of subjective experience. Though it would be impossible to cover all its content in a short book review, here we provide a critical evaluation of their two key ideas—the role of Unlimited (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  24.  6
    Limiting the explanatory scope of extended active inference: the implications of a causal pattern analysis of selective niche construction, developmental niche construction, and organism-niche coordination dynamics.Regina E. Fabry - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (1):1-26.
    Research in evolutionary biology and philosophy of biology and cognition strongly suggests that human organisms modify their environment through active processes of niche construction. Recently, proponents of the free-energy principle and variational active inference have argued that their approach can deepen our understanding of the reciprocal causal relationship between organisms and their niche on various scales. This paper examines the feasibility and scope of variational formalisations and conceptualisations of the organism-niche nexus with a particular focus on the extended active inference (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
    Translate
     
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  25.  5
    What are the major transitions?Matthew D. Herron - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (1):1-19.
    The ‘Major Transitions in Evolution’ framework has emerged as the dominant paradigm for understanding the origins of life's hierarchical organization, but it has been criticized on the grounds that it lacks theoretical unity, that is, that the events included in the framework do not constitute a coherent category. I agree with this criticism, and I argue that the best response is to modify the framework so that the events it includes do comprise a coherent category, one whose members share fundamental (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
    Translate
     
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  26.  33
    What is an Animal Personality?Marie I. Kaiser & Caroline Müller - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (1):1-25.
    Individuals of many animal species are said to have a personality. It has been shown that some individuals are bolder than other individuals of the same species, or more sociable or more aggressive. In this paper, we analyse what it means to say that an animal has a personality. We clarify what an animal personality is, that is, its ontology, and how different personality concepts relate to each other, and we examine how personality traits are identified in biological practice. Our (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
    Translate
     
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  27.  3
    Is Cancer a Matter of Luck?Anya Plutynski - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (1):1-28.
    In 2015, Tomasetti and Vogelstein published a paper in Science containing the following provocative statement: “… only a third of the variation in cancer risk among tissues is attributable to environmental factors or inherited predispositions. The majority is due to “bad luck,” that is, random mutations arising during DNA replication in normal, noncancerous stem cells.” The paper—and perhaps especially this rather coy reference to “bad luck”—became a flash point for a series of letters and reviews, followed by replies and yet (...)
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
 Previous issues
  
Next issues