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  1. Population Dynamics and Evolution.P. Allen - 1976 - In Erich Jantsch (ed.), Evolution and Consciousness: Human Systems in Transition. Reading Ma: Addison-Wesley. pp. 127--130.
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  2. Metaphors as Surrogate Variables. The Case of Adaptive Radiation.Alfonso Arroyo-Santos & Mark E. Olson - manuscript
    We develop a new metaphor account where metaphors become surrogate variables for different but related phenomena. As we will argue, subrogation is the result of the interplay between the things inspired by the metaphor and the empirical dynamics that result from such inspiration. In particular, we focus on adaptive radiation, a major concept of evolutionary biology. Our study suggests that there is no distinct phenomenon, process, or pattern in nature than can be identified as adaptive radiation. What we have instead (...)
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  3. Practice-Oriented Controversies and Borrowed Epistemic Credibility in Current Evolutionary Biology: Phylogeography as a Case Study.Alfonso Arroyo-Santos, Mark E. Olson & Francisco Vergara-Silva - 2015 - Perspectives on Science 25 (3):310-334.
    Philosophical treatments of scientific controversies usually focus on theory, excluding important practice related aspects. However, scientists in conflict often appeal to extra-theoretical and extra-empirical elements. To understand better the role that non-empirical elements play in scientific controversies, we introduce the notion of borrowed epistemic credibility, illustrating our proposal with a recent controversy in a field of evolutionary biology known as phylogeography. Our analysis shows how scientific controversies that spring from disagreements about methodological issues potentially involve deeper debates regarding what constitutes (...)
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  4. The Phylogeography Debate and the Epistemology of Model-Based Evolutionary Biology.Alfonso Arroyo-Santos, Mark E. Olson & Francisco Vergara-Silva - 2014 - Biology and Philosophy 29 (6):833-850.
    Although there is increasing recognition that theory and practice in science are often inseparably intertwined, discussions of scientific controversies often continue to focus on theory, and not practice or methodologies. As a contribution to constructing a framework towards understanding controversies linked to scientific practices, we introduce the notion of borrowed epistemic credibility, to describe the situation in which scientists exploit fallacious similarities between accepted tenets in other fields to garner support for a given position in their own field. Our proposal (...)
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  5. Puzzles for ZFEL, McShea and Brandon's Zero Force Evolutionary Law.Martin Barrett, Hayley Clatterbuck, Michael Goldsby, Casey Helgeson, Brian McLoone, Trevor Pearce, Elliott Sober, Reuben Stern & Naftali Weinberger - 2012 - 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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  6. What Evolvability Really Is.Rachael L. Brown - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (3):axt014.
    In recent years, the concept of evolvability has been gaining in prominence both within evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) and the broader field of evolutionary biology. Despite this, there remains considerable disagreement about what evolvability is. This article offers a solution to this problem. I argue that, in focusing too closely on the role played by evolvability as an explanandum in evo-devo, existing philosophical attempts to clarify the evolvability concept have been overly narrow. Within evolutionary biology more broadly, evolvability offers a (...)
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  7. The Evolution of Cooperation.Ellen Clarke - 2015 - The Philosophers' Magazine.
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  8. The Logic of Metabolism and its Fuzzy Consequences.A. Danchin - 2014 - Environmental Microbiology 16 (1):19-28.
    Intermediary metabolism molecules are orchestrated into logical pathways stemming from history (L-amino acids, D-sugars) and dynamic constraints (hydrolysis of pyrophosphate or amide groups is the driving force of anabolism). Beside essential metabolites, numerous variants derive from programmed or accidental changes. Broken down, variants enter standard pathways, producing further variants. Macromolecule modification alters enzyme reactions specificity. Metabolism conform thermodynamic laws, precluding strict accuracy. Hence, for each regular pathway, a wealth of variants inputs and produces metabolites that are similar to but not (...)
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  9. L'origine delle specie.Charles Darwin - 1967 - Boringhieri.
  10. Interpretations of the Concepts of Resilience and Evolution in the Philosophy of Leibniz.Vincenzo De Florio - manuscript
    In this article I interpret resilience and evolution in view of the philosophy of Leibniz. First, I discuss resilience as a substance’s or a monad’s “quantity of essence” — its “degree of perfection” — which I express as the quality of the Whole with respect to the sum of the qualities of the Parts. Then I discuss evolution, which I interpret here as the autopoietic Principle that sets Itself in motion and creates all reality, including Itself. This Principle may be (...)
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  11. Emotional Selection and Human Personality.Ferdinand Fellmann - 2013 - Biological Theory 8 (1):64-73.
    This article addresses the emergence of human personality in evolution. The mechanisms of natural and sexual selection developed by Darwin are not sufficient to explain the sense of self. Therefore we attempt to trace the evolutionary process back to a form of selection termed “emotional selection.” This involves reconstructing selection out of subjective qualities and showing how emotions enable human forms of life that are relevant for the cultural level of cooperation that marks our species. We see a paradigm shift (...)
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  12. An Improbable God Between Simplicity and Complexity: Thinking About Dawkins's Challenge.Philippe Gagnon - 2013 - International Philosophical Quarterly 53 (4):409-433.
    Richard Dawkins has popularized an argument that he thinks sound for showing that there is almost certainly no God. It rests on the assumptions (1) that complex and statistically improbable things are more difficult to explain than those that are not and (2) that an explanatory mechanism must show how this complexity can be built up from simpler means. But what justifies claims about the designer’s own complexity? One comes to a different understanding of order and of simplicity when one (...)
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  13. Carl F. Craver and Lindley Darden. In Search of Mechanisms: Discoveries Across the Life Sciences. [REVIEW]Justin Garson - 2015 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 5 (1):180-83.
    Carl F. Craver and Lindley Darden’s new book, In Search of Mechanisms: Discoveries across the Life Sciences, is a fantastic and lucid introduction to the “new mechanism” tradition in the philosophy of science. Over the last 2 decades, but particularly since the turn of the century, this has become an influential framework for thinking about core problems in the history and philosophy of science, with a strong emphasis on biology. There are at least four major aims. First, the new mechanism (...)
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  14. Human Brain Evolution, Theories of Innovation, and Lessons From the History of Technology.Alfred Gierer - 2004 - J. Biosci 29 (3):235-244.
    Biological evolution and technological innovation, while differing in many respects, also share common features. In particular, implementation of a new technology in the market is analogous to the spreading of a new genetic trait in a population. Technological innovation may occur either through the accumulation of quantitative changes, as in the development of the ocean clipper, or it may be initiated by a new combination of features or subsystems, as in the case of steamships. Other examples of the latter type (...)
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  15. The Extravagant Creator of Junk DNA.James Goetz - 2006 - International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design Archive.
    Denton proposes a hypothesis of frontloaded teleological evolution while Denton suggests that a vast amount of junk DNA is incompatible with his model of teleology and perhaps any model of teleology. This paper outlines a hypothesis for a vast amount of junk DNA with no selective constraints, and proposes that the junk DNA is compatible with teleological evolution that included occasional intervention during the history of adaptive evolution. And this paper introduces a hypothesis for the necessity of intervention in the (...)
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  16. Animals.Gary Hatfield - 2008 - In Janet Broughton & John Carriero (eds.), Companion to Descartes. Blackwell. pp. 404–425.
    This chapter considers philosophical problems concerning non-human (and sometimes human) animals, including their metaphysical, physical, and moral status, their origin, what makes them alive, their functional organization, and the basis of their sensitive and cognitive capacities. I proceed by assuming what most of Descartes’s followers and interpreters have held: that Descartes proposed that animals lack sentience, feeling, and genuinely cognitive representations of things. (Some scholars interpret Descartes differently, denying that he excluded sentience, feeling, and representation from animals, and I consider (...)
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  17. Evolution: From Copying Errors to Evolvability.Derek Hough - 2007 - Book Guild.
    Neo-Darwinism is simply incorrect and it is an indictment of modern biology that the Theory of Evolution has not been updated in the light of research that can easily be conducted by anyone with a programmable computer.
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  18. Regulatory Evolution and Theoretical Arguments in Evolutionary Biology.Stavros Ioannidis - 2013 - Science and Education 22 (2):279-292.
    The cis-regulatory hypothesis is one of the most important claims of evolutionary developmental biology. In this paper I examine the theoretical argument for cis-regulatory evolution and its role within evolutionary theorizing. I show that, although the argument has some weaknesses, it acts as a useful example for the importance of current scientific debates for science education.
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  19. Evolution At the Surface of Euclid:Elements of A Long Infinity in Motion Along Space.Marvin E. Kirsh - 2011 - International Journal of the Arts and Sciences 4 (2):71-96.
    It is modernly debated whether application of the free will has potential to cause harm to nature. Power possessed to the discourse, sensory/perceptual, physical influences on life experience by the slow moving machinery of change is a viral element in the problems of civilization; failed resolution of historical paradox involving mind and matter is a recurring source of problems. Reference is taken from the writing of Euclid in which a oneness of nature as an indivisible point of thought is made (...)
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  20. Animal Experimentation: The Legacy of Claude Bernard.Hugh LaFollette & Niall Shanks - 1994 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 8 (3):195 – 210.
    Claude Bernard, the father of scientific physiology, believed that if medicine was to become truly scientiifc, it would have to be based on rigorous and controlled animal experiments. Bernard instituted a paradigm which has shaped physiological practice for most of the twentieth century. ln this paper we examine how Bernards commitment to hypothetico-deductivism and determinism led to (a) his rejection of the theory of evolution; (b) his minima/ization of the role of clinical medicine and epidemiological studies; and (c) his conclusion (...)
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  21. Entwicklung und Evolution.Bernd Lahno & Hartmut Kliemt - 2004 - In Christoph Lütge (ed.), Kaltblütig. Philosophie von einem rationalen Standpunkt.Festschrift für Gerhard Vollmer. Hirzel. pp. 447-470.
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  22. Review Of: Julian Huxley, Evolution: The Modern Synthesis – The Definitive Edition. [REVIEW]Ehud Lamm - 2010 - Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science.
    The review focuses on Huxley’s debt to Richard Goldschmidt and Cyril Darlington. I discuss the conceptions of the genome developed by Goldschmidt and Darlington and their continuing relevance.
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  23. Inferring Coevolution.Ehud Lamm & Ohad Kammar - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (4):592-611.
    We discuss two inference patterns for inferring the coevolution of two characters based on their properties at a single point in time and determine when developmental interactions can be used to deduce evolutionary order. We discuss the use of the inference patterns we present in the biological literature and assess the arguments’ validity, the degree of support they give to the evolutionary conclusion, how they can be corroborated with empirical evidence, and to what extent they suggest new empirically addressable questions. (...)
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  24. "Life" Shaped by Genes That Depend on Their Surrounds.Paul Gottlob Layer - 2011 - Annals of the History and Philosophy of Biology 16:153-170.
    Never was dogmatic reductionism helpful in conceiving the phenomenon of life. The post-genomic era has made it clear that genes alone cannot explain the functioning of whole organisms. Already each cell represents a unique, non-recurring individual. Recent progress in developmental biology has conveyed new perspectives both on the makings of individual organisms (ontogeny), as on evolutionary change (Evo-Devo). The genome (the entirety of all genes) of an animal remains constant from fertilization onwards in each cell. The realization of genes requires (...)
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  25. EvoDevo: die molekulare Entwicklungsbiologie als Schlüssel zum Verständnis der Evolutionstheorie.Paul Gottlob Layer - 2009 - Zeitschrift Für Pädagogik Und Theologie 61 (4):322-333.
    Darwin´s Erkenntnis über die Abstammung der Arten durch Mutation und Selektion sind in aller Munde, dass aber darüber im Detail noch viel Unklarheit herrscht, ist weniger bekannt. Es sind Fortschritte der Entwicklungsbiologie, die erst seit wenigen Jahren uns molekulare Erklärungsmuster an die Hand geben, mit denen die Entstehung neuer Arten besser verständlich wird. Es handelt sich um die Aufklärung der Wirkungsweise von Genen und ihren molekularen Produkten, die während der embryonalen Entwicklung von Tier und Mensch dafür sorgen, daß der Organismus (...)
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  26. Complexity and the Arrow of Time.Charles H. Lineweaver, Paul C. W. Davies & Michael Ruse (eds.) - 2013 - Cambridge University Press.
  27. Adaptationism and the Logic of Research Questions: How to Think Clearly About Evolutionary Causes.Elisabeth A. Lloyd - 2015 - Biological Theory 10 (4):DOI: 10.1007/s13752-015-0214-2.
    This article discusses various dangers that accompany the supposedly benign methods in behavioral evoltutionary biology and evolutionary psychology that fall under the framework of "methodological adaptationism." A "Logic of Research Questions" is proposed that aids in clarifying the reasoning problems that arise due to the framework under critique. The live, and widely practiced, " evolutionary factors" framework is offered as the key comparison and alternative. The article goes beyond the traditional critique of Stephen Jay Gould and Richard C. Lewontin, to (...)
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  28. Pre-Theoretical Assumptions in Evolutionary Explanations of Female Sexuality.Elisabeth A. Lloyd - 1993 - Philosophical Studies 69 (2-3):139-153.
    My contribution to this Symposium focuses on the links between sexuality and reproduction from the evolutionary point of view.' The relation between women's sexuality and reproduction is particularly importantb ecause of a vital intersectionb etweenp olitics and biology feminists have noticed, for more than a century, that women's identity is often defined in terms of her reproductive capacity. More recently, in the second wave of the feminist movement in the United States, debates about women'si dentityh ave explicitlyi ncludeds exuality;m uch (...)
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  29. What Would Have Happened If Darwin Had Known Mendel (or Mendel's Work)?Pablo Lorenzano - 2011 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 33 (1):3-48.
    The question posed by the title is usually answered by saying that the “synthesis” between the theory of evolution by natural selection and classical genetics, which took place in 1930s-40s, would have taken place much earlier if Darwin had been aware of Mendel and his work. What is more, it nearly happened: it would have been enough if Darwin had cut the pages of the offprint of Mendel’s work that was in his library and read them! Or, if Mendel had (...)
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  30. Rethinking the Structure of Evolutionary Theory for an Extended Synthesis.A. C. Love - 2010 - In M. Pigliucci & G. Müller (eds.), Evolution—The Extended Synthesis. MIT Press. pp. 403–441.
    This chapter describes the theoretical implications of Extended Synthesis and addresses the methodological options available for determining aspects of theoretical structure. It uses a “bottom-up” approach focused on evolutionary theory in particular, as opposed to a “top-down” strategy that attempts to characterize the structure of all scientific theories. The chapter shows that there are multiple stable components contained within a broad representation of evolutionary theory. It suggests that the philosophical analysis offered in the chapter regarding the structure of evolutionary theory (...)
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  31. Developmental Mechanisms.Alan Love - 2018 - In S. Glennan & P. Illari (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Mechanisms. New York: Routledge.
    The Routledge Handbook of Mechanisms and Mechanical Philosophy is an outstanding reference source to the key topics, problems, and debates in this exciting subject and is the first collection of its kind. Comprising over thirty chapters by a team of international contributors, the Handbook is divided into four Parts: -/- Historical perspectives on mechanisms The nature of mechanisms Mechanisms and the philosophy of science Disciplinary perspectives on mechanisms. -/- Within these Parts central topics and problems are examined, including the rise (...)
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  32. Perspectives on Integrating Genetic and Physical Explanations of Evolution and Development.Alan Love, Thomas Stewart, Gunter Wagner & Stuart Newman - 2017 - Integrative and Comparative Biology:icx121.
    In the 20th century, genetic explanatory approaches became dominant in both developmental and evolutionary biological research. By contrast, physical approaches, which appeal to properties such as mechanical forces, were largely relegated to the margins, despite important advances in modeling. Recently, there have been renewed attempts to find balanced viewpoints that integrate both biological physics and molecular genetics into explanations of developmental and evolutionary phenomena. Here we introduce the 2017 SICB symposium “Physical and Genetic Mechanisms for Evolutionary Novelty” that was dedicated (...)
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  33. Drift and Evolutionary Forces: Scrutinizing the Newtonian Analogy.Victor J. Luque - 2016 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 31 (3).
    This article analyzes the view of evolutionary theory as a theory of forces. The analogy with Newtonian mechanics has been challenged due to the alleged mismatch between drift and the other evolutionary forces. Since genetic drift has no direction several authors tried to protect its status as a force: denying its lack of directionality, extending the notion of force and looking for a force in physics which also lacks of direction. I analyse these approaches, and although this strategy finally succeeds, (...)
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  34. On Closing the Gap Between Philosophical Concepts and Their Usage in Scientific Practice: A Lesson From the Debate About Natural Selection as a Mechanism.Lucas J. Matthews - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 55:21-28.
    In addition to theorizing about the role and value of mechanisms in scientific explanation or the causal structure of the world, there is a fundamental task of getting straight what a ‘mechanism’ is in the first place. Broadly, this paper is about the challenge of application: the challenge of aligning one's philosophical account of a scientific concept with the manner in which that concept is actually used in scientific practice. This paper considers a case study of the challenge of application (...)
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  35. Embedded Mechanisms and Phylogenetics.Lucas J. Matthews - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (5):1116-1126.
    A strong case has been made for the role and value of mechanistic explanation in neuroscience and molecular biology. A similar demonstration in other domains of scientific investigation, however, remains an important challenge of scope for the new mechanists. This article helps answer that challenge by demonstrating one valuable role mechanisms play in phylogenetics. Using the transition/transversion rate parameter as a case example, this article argues that models embedded with mechanisms produce stronger phylogenetic tree hypotheses, as measured by maximum likelihood (...)
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  36. Mechanistic Explanation Without Mechanisms.John Matthewson & Brett Calcott - manuscript
    We provide an account of mechanistic representation and explanation that has several advantages over previous proposals. In our view, explaining mechanistically is not simply giving an explanation of a mechanism. Rather, an explanation is mechanistic because of particular relations that hold between a mechanical representation, or model, and the target of explanation. Under this interpretation, mechanistic explanation is possible even when the explanatory target is not a mechanism. We argue that taking this view is not only coherent and plausible, it (...)
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  37. Darwinian Theory Reinterpreted.Nicholas Maxwell - 2010 - In N. Maxwell (ed.), Cutting God in Half - And Putting the Pieces Together Again: A New Approach to Philosophy. Pentire Press. pp. 264-300.
    It is argued that purposive action of living things plays a crucial role in Darwinian evolution. As evolution proceeds, the mechanisms of evolution evolve as well, giving an increasingly important role to purposive action - to be understood in a sense which is compatible with physics (the atom of purposiveness being the thermostat). Nine versions of Darwinian theory are distinguished. The first denies that purposive action has any role in evolution at all; each successive version gives an inceasingly important role (...)
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  38. The Generalized Darwinian Research Programme.Nicholas Maxwell - 1984 - In From Knowledge to Wisdom. Blackwell. pp. 269-275.
    The generalized Darwinian research programme accepts physicalism, but holds that all life is purposive in character. It seeks to understand how and why all purposiveness has evolved in the universe – especially purposiveness associated with what we value most in human life, such as sentience, consciousness, person-to-person understanding, science, art, free¬dom, love. As evolution proceeds, the mechanisms of evolution themselves evolve to take into account the increasingly important role that purposive action can play - especially when quasi-Lamarckian evolution by cultural (...)
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  39. Biology's First Law: The Tendency for Diversity and Complexity to Increase in Evolutionary Systems.Daniel W. McShea & Robert N. Brandon - 2010 - University of Chicago Press.
  40. Sometimes an Orgasm is Just an Orgasm.Erika Lorraine Milam, Gillian R. Brown, Stefan Linquist, Steve Fuller & Elisabeth A. Lloyd - 2006 - Metascience 15 (3):399-435.
    I should like to offer my greatest thanks to Paul Griffiths for providing the opportunity for this exchange, and to commentators Gillian Brown, Steven Fuller, Stefan Linquist, and Erika Milam for their generous and thought-provoking comments. I shall do my best in this space to respond to some of their concerns.
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  41. Sex and Sensibility: The Role of Social Selection.Erika Milam, Roberta L. Millstein, Angela Potochnik & Joan Roughgarden - 2011 - Metascience 20 (2):253-277.
    Sex and sensibility: The role of social selection Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9464-6 Authors Erika L. Milam, Department of History, University of Maryland, 2115 Francis Scott Key Hall, College Park, MD 20742, USA Roberta L. Millstein, Department of Philosophy, University of California, Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA Angela Potochnik, Department of Philosophy, University of Cincinnati, P.O. Box 210374, Cincinnati, OH 45221, USA Joan E. Roughgarden, Department of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5020, USA Journal Metascience Online (...)
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  42. Darwin’s Explanation of Races by Means of Sexual Selection.Roberta Millstein - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (3):627-633.
    In Darwin’s Sacred Cause, Adrian Desmond and James Moore contend that “Darwin would put his utmost into sexual selection because the subject intrigued him, no doubt, but also for a deeper reason: the theory vindicated his lifelong commitment to human brotherhood”. Without questioning Desmond and Moore’s evidence, I will raise some puzzles for their view. I will show that attention to the structure of Darwin’s arguments in the Descent of Man shows that they are far from straightforward. As Desmond and (...)
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  43. Chance and Macroevolution.Roberta L. Millstein - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (4):603-624.
    When philosophers of physics explore the nature of chance, they usually look to quantum mechanics. When philosophers of biology explore the nature of chance, they usually look to microevolutionary phenomena, such as mutation or random drift. What has been largely overlooked is the role of chance in macroevolution. The stochastic models of paleobiology employ conceptions of chance that are similar to those at the microevolutionary level, yet different from the conceptions of chance often associated with quantum mechanics and Laplacean determinism.
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  44. Is Evolution Algorithmic?Marcin Miłkowski - 2009 - Minds and Machines 19 (4):465-475.
    In Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, Daniel Dennett claims that evolution is algorithmic. On Dennett’s analysis, evolutionary processes are trivially algorithmic because he assumes that all natural processes are algorithmic. I will argue that there are more robust ways to understand algorithmic processes that make the claim that evolution is algorithmic empirical and not conceptual. While laws of nature can be seen as compression algorithms of information about the world, it does not follow logically that they are implemented as algorithms by physical (...)
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  45. Introduzione a Charles Darwin, L'origine delle specie.Giuseppe Montalenti - 1967 - Boringhieri.
  46. L'evoluzione.Giuseppe Montalenti - 1965-1982 - Einaudi.
  47. The Evolution of Phenotypic Plasticity: Genealogy of a Debate in Genetics.Antonine Nicoglou - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 50:67-76.
    The paper describes the context and the origin of a particular debate that concerns the evolution of phenotypic plasticity. In 1965, British biologist A. D. Bradshaw proposed a widely cited model intended to explain the evolution of norms of reaction, based on his studies of plant populations. Bradshaw’s model went beyond the notion of the “adaptive norm of reaction” discussed before him by Dobzhansky and Schmalhausen by suggesting that “plasticity” the ability of a phenotype to be modified by the environment (...)
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  48. Theories of Adaptation: What They Do and Don’T Say.H. Allen Orr - 2005 - Genetics.
    Theoretical work on adaptation has lagged behind experimental. But two classes of adaptation model have been partly explored. One is phenotypic and the other DNA sequence based. I briefly consider an example of each – Fisher’s geometric model and Gillespie’s mutational landscape model, respectively – reviewing recent results. Despite their fundamental differences, these models give rise to several strikingly similar
    results. I consider possible reasons for this congruence. I also emphasize what predictions do and, as important, do not follow from these (...)
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  49. Convergence and Parallelism in Evolution: A Neo-Gouldian Account.Trevor Pearce - 2012 - 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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  50. Evolution and Constraints on Variation: Variant Specification and Range of Assessment.Trevor Pearce - 2011 - 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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