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  1. Essay on Classification.Louis Agassiz & Elizabeth Higgins Gladfelter - 2005 - Journal of the History of Biology 38 (2):395-397.
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  2. Biology and Ideology From Descartes to Dawkins.Denis R. Alexander & Ronald L. Numbers (eds.) - 2010 - University of Chicago Press.
    Over the course of human history, the sciences, and biology in particular, have often been manipulated to cause immense human suffering. For example, biology has been used to justify eugenic programs, forced sterilization, human experimentation, and death camps—all in an attempt to support notions of racial superiority. By investigating the past, the contributors to _Biology and Ideology from Descartes to Dawkins_ hope to better prepare us to discern ideological abuse of science when it occurs in the future. Denis R. Alexander (...)
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  3. Race: Biological Reality or Social Construct?Robin O. Andreasen - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (3):666.
    Race was once thought to be a real biological kind. Today the dominant view is that objective biological races don't exist. I challenge the trend to reject the biological reality of race by arguing that cladism (a school of classification that individuates taxa by appeal to common ancestry) provides a new way to define race biologically. I also reconcile the proposed biological conception with constructivist theories about race. Most constructivists assume that biological realism and social constructivism are incompatible views about (...)
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  4. Homology: Homeostatic Property Cluster Kinds in Systematics and Evolution.Leandro Assis & Ingo Brigandt - 2009 - Evolutionary Biology 36:248-255.
    Taxa and homologues can in our view be construed both as kinds and as individuals. However, the conceptualization of taxa as natural kinds in the sense of homeostatic property cluster kinds has been criticized by some systematists, as it seems that even such kinds cannot evolve due to their being homeostatic. We reply by arguing that the treatment of transformational and taxic homologies, respectively, as dynamic and static aspects of the same homeostatic property cluster kind represents a good perspective for (...)
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  5. Folk Biology and the Anthropology of Science: Cognitive Universals and Cultural Particulars.Scott Atran - 1998 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (4):547-569.
    This essay in the is about how cognition constrains culture in producing science. The example is folk biology, whose cultural recurrence issues from the very same domain-specific cognitive universals that provide the historical backbone of systematic biology. Humans everywhere think about plants and animals in highly structured ways. People have similar folk-biological taxonomies composed of essence-based, species-like groups and the ranking of species into lower- and higher-order groups. Such taxonomies are not as arbitrary in structure and content, nor as variable (...)
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  6. Taxonomic Ranks, Generic Species, and Core Memes.Scott Atran - 1998 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (4):593-604.
    The target article contains a number of distinct but interrelated claims about the cognitive nature of folk biology based in part on cross-cultural work with urbanized Americans and forest-dwelling Maya Indians. Folk biology consists universally of a ranked taxonomy centered on essence-based generic species. This taxonomy is domain-specific, perhaps an innately determined evolutionary adaptation. Folk biology also plays a special role in cultural evolution in general, and in the development of Western biological science in particular. Even in our culture, however, (...)
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  7. Kinds of Behaviour.Robert Aunger & Valerie Curtis - 2008 - Biology and Philosophy 23 (3):317-345.
    Sciences able to identify appropriate analytical units for their domain, their natural kinds, have tended to be more progressive. In the biological sciences, evolutionary natural kinds are adaptations that can be identified by their common history of selection for some function. Human brains are the product of an evolutionary history of selection for component systems which produced behaviours that gave adaptive advantage to their hosts. These structures, behaviour production systems, are the natural kinds that psychology seeks. We argue these can (...)
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  8. Aristotelian Essentialism: Essence in the Age of Evolution.Christopher J. Austin - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2539-2556.
    The advent of contemporary evolutionary theory ushered in the eventual decline of Aristotelian Essentialism (Æ) – for it is widely assumed that essence does not, and cannot have any proper place in the age of evolution. This paper argues that this assumption is a mistake: if Æ can be suitably evolved, it need not face extinction. In it, I claim that if that theory’s fundamental ontology consists of dispositional properties, and if its characteristic metaphysical machinery is interpreted within the framework (...)
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  9. Gender Is a Natural Kind with a Historical Essence.Theodore Bach - 2012 - Ethics 122 (2):231-272.
    Traditional debate on the metaphysics of gender has been a contrast of essentialist and social-constructionist positions. The standard reaction to this opposition is that neither position alone has the theoretical resources required to satisfy an equitable politics. This has caused a number of theorists to suggest ways in which gender is unified on the basis of social rather than biological characteristics but is “real” or “objective” nonetheless – a position I term social objectivism. This essay begins by making explicit the (...)
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  10. Defining Species: A Multi-Level Approach.Tudor Baetu - 2012 - Acta Biotheoretica 60 (3):239-255.
    Different concepts define species at the pattern-level grouping of organisms into discrete clusters, the level of the processes operating within and between populations leading to the formation and maintenance of these clusters, or the level of the inner-organismic genetic and molecular mechanisms that contribute to species cohesion or promote speciation. I argue that, unlike single-level approaches, a multi-level framework takes into account the complex sequences of cause-effect reinforcements leading to the formation and maintenance of various patterns, and allows for revisions (...)
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  11. Biological Explanations, Realism, Ontology, and Categories.Matthew Barker - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):617-622.
  12. The Empirical Inadequacy of Species Cohesion by Gene Flow.Matthew J. Barker - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (5):654-665.
    This paper brings needed clarity to the influential view that species are cohesive entities held together by gene flow, and then develops an empirical argument against that view: Neglected data suggest gene flow is neither necessary nor sufficient for species cohesion. Implications are discussed. ‡I'm grateful to Rob Wilson, Alex Rueger and Lindley Darden for important comments on earlier drafts, and to Joseph Nagel, Heather Proctor, Ken Bond, members of the DC History and Philosophy of Biology reading group, and audience (...)
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  13. Deep Conventionalism About Evolutionary Groups.Matthew J. Barker & Joel D. Velasco - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (5):971-982.
    We argue for a new conventionalism about many kinds of evolutionary groups, including clades, cohesive units, and populations. This rejects a consensus, which says that given any one of the many legitimate grouping concepts, only objective biological facts determine whether a collection is such a group. Surprisingly, being any one kind of evolutionary group typically depends on which of many incompatible values are taken by suppressed variables. This is a novel pluralism underlying most any one group concept, rather than a (...)
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  14. Cohesion, Gene Flow, and the Nature of Species.Matthew J. Barker & Robert A. Wilson - 2010 - Journal of Philosophy 107 (2):59-77.
    A far-reaching and influential view in evolutionary biology claims that species are cohesive units held together by gene flow. Biologists have recognized empirical problems facing this view; after sharpening the expression of the view, we present novel conceptual problems for it. At the heart of these problems is a distinction between two importantly different concepts of cohesion, what we call integrative and response cohesion. Acknowledging the distinction problematizes both the explanandum of species cohesion and the explanans of gene flow that (...)
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  15. On the Functional Origins of Essentialism.H. Clark Barrett - 2001 - [Journal (Paginated)] (in Press) 2 (1):1-30.
    This essay examines the proposal that psychological essentialism results from a history of natural selection acting on human representation and inference systems. It has been argued that the features that distinguish essentialist representational systems are especially well suited for representing natural kinds. If the evolved function of essentialism is to exploit the rich inductive potential of such kinds, then it must be subserved by cognitive mechanisms that carry out at least three distinct functions: identifying these kinds in the environment, constructing (...)
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  16. Dynamic Partitioning and the Conventionality of Kinds.Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (4):527-546.
    Lewis sender‐receiver games illustrate how a meaningful term language might evolve from initially meaningless random signals (Lewis 1969; Skyrms 2006). Here we consider how a meaningful language with a primitive grammar might evolve in a somewhat more subtle sort of game. The evolution of such a language involves the co‐evolution of partitions of the physical world into what may seem, at least from the perspective of someone using the language, to correspond to canonical natural kinds. While the evolved language may (...)
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  17. Biochemical Kinds.J. Bartol - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (2):axu046.
    Chemical kinds (e.g. gold) are generally treated as having timelessly fixed identities. Biological kinds (e.g. goldfinches) are generally treated as evolved and/or evolving entities. So what kind of kind is a biochemical kind? This paper defends the thesis that biochemical molecules are clustered chemical kinds, some of which–namely, evolutionarily conserved units–are also biological kinds.On this thesis, a number of difficulties that have recently occupied philosophers concerned with proteins and kinds are shown to be resolved or dissolved.
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  18. Biochemical Kinds.Jordan Bartol - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (2):531-551.
    Chemical kinds are generally treated as having timelessly fixed identities. Biological kinds are generally treated as evolved and/or evolving entities. So what kind of kind is a biochemical kind? This article defends the thesis that biochemical molecules are clustered chemical kinds, some of which—namely, evolutionarily conserved units—are also biological kinds. On this thesis, a number of difficulties that have recently occupied philosophers concerned with proteins and kinds are shown to be either resolved or dissolved. 1 Introduction2 Conflicting Intuitions about Kinds (...)
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  19. A Pluralist Approach to Extension: The Role of Materiality in Scientific Practice for the Reference of Natural Kind Terms.Ann-Sophie Barwich - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (2):100-108.
    This article argues for a different outlook on the concept of extension, especially for the reference of general terms in scientific practice. Scientific realist interpretations of the two predominant theories of meaning, namely Descriptivism and Causal Theory, contend that a stable cluster of descriptions or an initial baptism fixes the extension of a general term such as a natural kind term. This view in which the meaning of general terms is presented as monosemantic and the referents as stable, homogeneous, and (...)
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  20. 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]Ann-Sophie Barwich & Alba Amilburu - 2011 - Biological Theory 6 (2):187-190.
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  21. Bridging Disciplines? An Inquiry on the Future of Natural Kinds in Philosophy and the Life Sciences.Ann-Sophie Barwich & Alba Amilburu - 2011 - Biological Theory 6 (2):187-190.
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  22. Are Psychiatric Kinds Real?Helen Beebee & Nigel Sabbarton-Leary - 2010 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 6 (1):11-27.
    The paper considers whether psychiatric kinds can be natural kinds and concludes that they can. This depends, however, on a particular conception of ‘natural kind’. We briefly describe and reject two standard accounts – what we call the ‘stipulative account’ (according to which apparently a priori criteria, such as the possession of intrinsic essences, are laid down for natural kindhood) and the ‘Kripkean account’ (according to which the natural kinds are just those kinds that obey Kripkean semantics). We then rehearse (...)
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  23. Ethnobiological Classification.Brent Berlin - 1978 - In Eleanor Rosch & Barbara Lloyd (eds.), Cognition and Categorization. Lawrence Elbaum Associates. pp. 9--26.
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  24. Empty Natural Kind Terms and Dry-Earth.Corine Besson - 2012 - Erkenntnis 76 (3):403-425.
    This paper considers the problem of assigning meanings to empty natural kind terms. It does so in the context of the Twin-Earth externalist-internalist debate about whether the meanings of natural kind terms are individuated by the external physical environment of the speakers using these terms. The paper clarifies and outlines the different ways in which meanings could be assigned to empty natural kind terms. And it argues that externalists do not have the semantic resources to assign them meanings. The paper (...)
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  25. The Use of Natural Kinds in Evolutionary Developmental Biology.Jessica Bolker - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (2):121-129.
    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 requirement that classifications (...)
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  26. La durata naturale di un genere naturale.Andrea Borghini - 2008 - Rivista di Estetica 39:89-101.
    Natural kind realists believe that the world is carved out into kinds of things. Critiques addressed towards natural kind realism aimed at showing the difficulties in discerning a universal spatial structure and behavior common to all the members of an alleged kind. Little or no attention, however, has been given to the temporal structure of a natural kind. After showing (in the first section) that some kinds are indeed temporally extended, the second section of the paper argues that there is (...)
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  27. 4.2. Quel che resta dei generi naturali.Andrea Borghini & Elena Casetta - 2012 - Rivista di Estetica 49:247-271.
    If natural kinds were defined on the basis of fixed and immutable essences, then––with the end of essentialism in life sciences––their end, at least for those kinds confined to the living realm, would ensue as well (1-2). If appropriately revised and adapted, however, natural kinds may still play an important theoretical role, not only for the sake of philosophical speculation, but also in accomodating scientific practices and in providing an adequate rendering of human reasoning. The proposal outlined in this paper (...)
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  28. Are the Arthropoda a Natural Group? An Episode in the History of Evolutionary Biology.Peter J. Bowler - 1994 - Journal of the History of Biology 27 (2):177-213.
  29. Homeostasis, Higher Taxa, and Monophyly.Richard Boyd - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (5):686-701.
  30. Homeostasis, Species, and Higher Taxa.Richard Boyd - 1999 - In R. A. Wilson (ed.), Species: New Interdisciplinary Essays. MIT Press. pp. 141-85.
  31. Classification.R. Boyne - 2006 - Theory, Culture and Society 23 (2-3):21-30.
    First thoughts about classification inevitably turn to the simultaneously mundane and extraordinary ambition to capture the universe of all that there is and has been. This dream of the universal has two basic modes . First, I will follow the spirit of theos and logos as represented by the Platonic embrace of totality enshrined in Socrates’ scrupulous rejection of rhetorical dishonesty. Second, I will address the later part of the march to subjectivity as expressed by the mechanics of atomism and (...)
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  32. Conceptual Stability and the Meaning of Natural Kind Terms.David Braddon-Mitchell - 2005 - Biology and Philosophy 20 (4):859-868.
  33. The Search for the Basis of Natural Classification.Olaf Breidbach - 2007 - The Monist 90 (4):483-498.
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  34. Typology and Natural Kinds in Evo-Devo.Ingo Brigandt - 2017 - In Laura Nuño De La Rosa & Gerd Müller (eds.), Evolutionary Developmental Biology: A Reference Guide. Cham: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-33038-9_10.
    The traditional practice of establishing morphological types and investigating morphological organization has found new support from evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo), especially with respect to the notion of body plans. Despite recurring claims that typology is at odds with evolutionary thinking, evo-devo offers mechanistic explanations of the evolutionary origin, transformation, and evolvability of morphological organization. In parallel, philosophers have developed non-essentialist conceptions of natural kinds that permit kinds to exhibit variation and undergo change. This not only facilitates a construal of species (...)
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  35. Natural Kinds in Evolution and Systematics: Metaphysical and Epistemological Considerations.Ingo Brigandt - 2009 - Acta Biotheoretica 57 (1-2):77-97.
    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 perspective by considering (...)
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  36. Planets, Pluralism, and Conceptual Lineage.Carl Brusse - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 53:93-106.
    Conceptual change can occur for a variety of reasons; some more scientifically significant than others. The 2006 definition of ‘planet’, which saw Pluto reclassified as a dwarf planet, is an example toward the more mundane end of the scale. I argue however that this case serves as a useful example of a related phenomenon, whereby what appears to be a single kind term conceals two or more distinct concepts with independent scientific utility. I examine the historical background to this case, (...)
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  37. Natural Kinds.Zdenka Brzović - 2018 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    A large part of our exploration of the world consists in categorizing or classifying the objects and processes we encounter, both in scientific and everyday contexts. There are various, perhaps innumerable, ways to sort objects into different kinds or categories, but it is commonly assumed that, among the countless possible types of classifications, one group is privileged. Philosophy refers to such categories as natural kinds. Standard examples of such kinds include fundamental physical particles, chemical elements, and biological species. The term (...)
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  38. The Kindness of Psychopaths.Zdenka Brzović, Marko Jurjako & Predrag Šustar - 2017 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 31 (2):189-211.
    Psychopathy attracts considerable interdisciplinary interest. The idea of a group of people with abnormal morality and interpersonal relations raises important philosophical, legal, and clinical issues. However, before engaging these issues, we ought to examine whether this category is scientifically grounded. We frame the issue in terms of the question whether ‘psychopathy’ designates a natural kind according to the cluster approaches. We argue that currently there is no sufficient evidence for an affirmative answer to this question. Furthermore, we examine three ways (...)
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  39. The Logical Structure of the Linnaen Hierarchy.Roger C. Buck & David L. Hull - 1966 - Systematic Zoology 15 (2):97-111.
  40. A Property Cluster Theory of Cognition.Cameron Buckner - 2013 - Philosophical Psychology (3):1-30.
    Our prominent definitions of cognition are too vague and lack empirical grounding. They have not kept up with recent developments, and cannot bear the weight placed on them across many different debates. I here articulate and defend a more adequate theory. On this theory, behaviors under the control of cognition tend to display a cluster of characteristic properties, a cluster which tends to be absent from behaviors produced by non-cognitive processes. This cluster is reverse-engineered from the empirical tests that comparative (...)
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  41. Understanding Brains by Comparing Taxa.Theodore H. Bullock - 1984 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 27 (4):510-524.
  42. Smaller Than a Breadbox: Scale and Natural Kinds.Julia R. Bursten - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axw022.
    I propose a division of the literature on natural kinds into metaphysical worries, semantic worries, and methodological worries. I argue that the latter set of worries, which concern how classification influences scientific practices, should occupy centre stage in philosophy of science discussions about natural kinds. I apply this methodological framework to the problems of classifying chemical species and nanomaterials. I show that classification in nanoscience differs from classification in chemistry because the latter relies heavily on compositional identity, whereas the former (...)
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  43. Carving Nature at its Joints: Natural Kinds in Metaphysics and Science.Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke & Matthew H. Slater (eds.) - 2011 - MIT Press.
    Are there natural kinds of things around which our theories cut? The essays in this volume offer reflections by a distinguished group of philosophers on a series of intertwined issues in the metaphysics and epistemology of classification.
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  44. Carving Nature at its Joints. Topics in Contemporary Philosophy, Vol. 8.Joseph Keim Campbell, Matthew H. Slater & Michael O'Rourke (eds.) - forthcoming - MIT Press.
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  45. Marc Ereshefsky, The Poverty of Linnaean Hierarchy. A Philosophical Study of Biological Taxonomy.M. Capocci - 2002 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 23 (2):303-303.
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  46. Aristotle's Use of 'Genos' in Logic, Philosophy, and Science.Jeffrey Carr - 2009 - Peter Lang.
    Introduction -- The common hellenic meaning of "genus" -- The Pollaxos legomena or things said in many ways -- Genus in the explanation of change : the subject and substratum principles -- To what is Aristotle's theory of change a response? : the pre-socratic and platonic background -- Change : the principles of nature in physics I -- A first mention of matter and form -- Genus in the explanation of change : the definition of change -- Aristotle's definition of (...)
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  47. Pathogenic Archaea: Do They Exist?Ricardo Cavicchioli, Paul M. G. Curmi, Neil Saunders & Torsten Thomas - 2003 - Bioessays 25 (11):1119-1128.
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  48. Malaria Diagnosis and the Plasmodium Life Cycle: The BFO Perspective.Werner Ceusters & Barry Smith - 2010 - In Interdisciplinary Ontology. Proceedings of the Third Interdisciplinary Ontology Meeting. Tokyo: Keio University Press. pp. 25-34.
    Definitive diagnosis of malaria requires the demonstration through laboratory tests of the presence within the patient of malaria parasites or their components. Since malaria parasites can be present even in the absence of malaria manifestations, and since symptoms of malaria can be manifested even in the absence of malaria parasites, malaria diagnosis raises important issues for the adequate understanding of disease, etiology and diagnosis. One approach to the resolution of these issues adopts a realist view, according to which the needed (...)
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  49. Microorganisms as Scaffolds of Host Individuality: An Eco-Immunity Account of the Holobiont.Lynn Chiu & Gérard Eberl - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (6):1-19.
    There is currently a great debate about whether the holobiont, i.e. a multicellular host and its residential microorganisms, constitutes a biological individual. We propose that resident microorganisms have a general and important role in the individuality of the host organism, not the holobiont. Drawing upon the Equilibrium Model of Immunity, we argue that microorganisms are scaffolds of immune capacities and processes that determine the constituency and persistence of the host organism. A scaffolding perspective accommodates the contingency and heterogeneity of resident (...)
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  50. The Wistar Rat as a Right Choice: Establishing Mammalian Standards and the Ideal of a Standardized Mammal.Bonnie Tocher Clause - 1993 - Journal of the History of Biology 26 (2):329-349.
    In summary, the creation and maintenance of the Wistar Rats as standardized animals can be attributed to the breeding work of Helen Dean King, coupled with the management and husbandry methods of Milton Greenman and Louise Duhring, and with supporting documentation provided by Henry Donaldson. The widespread use of the Wistar Rats, however, is a function of the ingenuity of Milton Greenman who saw in them a way for a small institution to provide service to science. Greenman's rhetoric, as captured (...)
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