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Philosophy of Biology

Edited by Manolo Martínez (University of Antwerp)
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  1. added 2017-01-20
    Michael Starks (2017). Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization -- Articles and Reviews 2006-2017 by Michael Starks 2nd Ed. 667p (2017). Henderson: Michael Starks.
    This collection of articles was written over the last 10 years and the most important and longest within the last year. Also I have edited them to bring them up to date (2017). The copyright page has the date of this first edition and new editions will be noted there as I edit old articles or add new ones. All the articles are about human behavior (as are all articles by anyone about anything), and so about the limitations of having (...)
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  2. added 2017-01-20
    Lynch Kate (2017). Heritability and Causal Reasoning. Biology and Philosophy 32 (1):25-49.
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  3. added 2017-01-18
    Paul Gottlob Layer (2015). “Das Andere der Natur” - Eine Abhandlung über das gleichnamige Buch von JC Schmidt im Hirzel-Verlag. [REVIEW] Universitas, Heidelberg 70 (830):62-73.
    Nicht Stabilität, sondern Instabilität sei der Grundcharakter der Natur, so hören wir von Jan Schmidt als Auftakt zu seinem Buch „Das Andere der Natur“ (Hirzel-Verlag, 2015). „Das Eine der Natur“, welches reduktionistisch zu erfassen ist, soll durch ein „Anderes“ ergänzt werden. Von dieser anderen Seite her zeigt sich „Natur ... auch (als) instabil, komplex, chaotisch, zufällig, emergent...“, und aus dieser Sicht des Naturgeschehens heraus will der Autor eine Philosophie der Instabilität entwerfen. Der gelernte Physiker und Philosoph lehrt an der Hochschule (...)
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  4. added 2017-01-18
    Paul Gottlob Layer (2007). Was ist Leben? - Von Zellen und anderen Lebewesen zwischen Genkonstanz und Umweltvarianz. Arnoldshainer Texte - Der Etwas Andere Blick Auf Die Schöpfung 136:102-116.
    Bei der Suche nach dem rätselhaften Ursprung des Phänomens „Leben“ wird hier zunächst die zelluläre Ebene betrachtet. Im Grundaufbau zeigen alle Zellen viel Konstantes, aber gleichzeitig stellt jede Zelle ein einmaliges Individuum dar. Leben von Zellen gibt es nur als gegenseitiges Wechselspiel mit ihrer jeweiligen Umwelt. Das Genom (die Gesamtheit aller Gene) bleibt ab der Befruchtung in jeder Zelle eines Individuums konstant. Aber auch die Verwirklichung der Gene braucht eine „molekulare Umwelt“, besonders die vom Muttertier vorbereitete Umwelt im Zytoplasma des (...)
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  5. added 2017-01-17
    Michael A. Flannery (forthcoming). Darwin and the End of Providence: The Role of Chance in Evolution. Metascience:1-4.
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  6. added 2017-01-17
    Lorenzo Casini (forthcoming). Malfunctions and Teleology. European Journal for Philosophy of Science:1-17.
    The core idea of statistical accounts of biological functions is that to function normally is to provide a statistically typical contribution to some goal state of the organism. In this way, statistical accounts purport to naturalize the teleological notion of function in terms of statistical facts. Boorse’s, 542–573, 1977) original biostatistical account was criticized for failing to distinguish functions from malfunctions. Recently, many have attempted to circumvent the criticism, 519–541, 2012, Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, 39, 634–647, 2014). Here, I (...)
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  7. added 2017-01-17
    Silver Rattasepp & Kalevi Kull (forthcoming). The Semiotic Species in Advance. American Journal of Semiotics.
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  8. added 2017-01-17
    Paul E. Griffiths & John Matthewson (forthcoming). Evolution, Dysfunction, and Disease: A Reappraisal. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axw021.
    Some ‘naturalist’ accounts of disease employ a biostatistical account of dysfunction, whilst others use a ‘selected effect’ account. Several recent authors have argued that the biostatistical account offers the best hope for a naturalist account of disease. We show that the selected effect account survives the criticisms levelled by these authors relatively unscathed, and has significant advantages over the BST. Moreover, unlike the BST, it has a strong theoretical rationale and can provide substantive reasons to decide difficult cases. This is (...)
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  9. added 2017-01-17
    Monica Uddin, Stefan Jansen & Eva H. Telzer (forthcoming). Adolescent Depression Linked to Socioeconomic Status? Molecular Approaches for Revealing Premorbid Risk Factors. Bioessays:1600194.
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  10. added 2017-01-17
    Pierrick Bourrat (forthcoming). Evolution by Natural Selection: Confidence, Evidence and the Gap, by Michaelis Michael. Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-3.
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  11. added 2017-01-17
    Sune Holm (forthcoming). Teleology and Biocentrism. Synthese:1-13.
    In this paper I examine the connection between accounts of biological teleology and the biocentrist claim that all living beings have a good of their own. I first present the background for biocentrists’ appeal to biological teleology. Then I raise a problem of scope for teleology-based biocentrism and, drawing in part on recent work by Basl and Sandler, I discuss Taylor and Varner’s responses to this problem. I then challenge Basl and Sandler’s own response to the scope problem for its (...)
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  12. added 2017-01-17
    Timothy N. W. J. Jackson & Bryan G. Fry (forthcoming). A Tricky Trait: Applying the Fruits of the “Function Debate” in the Philosophy of Biology to the “Venom Debate” in the Science of Toxinology. .
    The “function debate” in the philosophy of biology and the “venom debate” in the science of toxinology are conceptually related. Venom systems are complex multifunctional traits that have evolved independently numerous times throughout the animal kingdom. No single concept of function, amongst those popularly defended, appears adequate to describe these systems in all their evolutionary contexts and extant variations. As such, a pluralistic view of function, previously defended by some philosophers of biology, is most appropriate. Venom systems, like many other (...)
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  13. added 2017-01-17
    María Caamaño-Alegre (forthcoming). Drift Theory and Plate Tectonics: A Case of Embedding in Geology. Foundations of Science:1-19.
    The purpose of this paper is to elucidate the semantic relation between continental drift and plate tectonics. The numerous attempts to account for this case in either Kuhnian or Lakatosian terms have been convincingly dismissed by Rachel Laudan, who nevertheless acknowledged that there was not yet a plausible alternative to explain the so called “geological revolution”. Several decades later, the epistemological side of this revolution has received much attention, while the semantic relation between drift theory and plate tectonics has remained (...)
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  14. added 2017-01-17
    Sean Allen-Hermanson (forthcoming). Companion to the Philosophy of Animal Minds. Routledge.
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  15. added 2017-01-17
    Wendy M. Harvey (forthcoming). In Defense of Ecuaros and Biodiversity in a Purhépecha Community, Michoacán, MexicoEn Defensa de Los Ecuaros y la Biodiversidad En la Comunidad de Purhépecha, Michoacán, Méjico. Corpus.
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  16. added 2017-01-17
    Rocca Julius (ed.) (2017). Teleology in the Ancient World: Philosophical and Medical Approaches. Cambridge University Press.
    The ancient origins of teleological concepts are sometimes either conveniently forgotten or given a distorted appearance. On the one hand, ancient teleology has been obscured by the theological cloak of creationism. On the other, Darwinists have sometimes failed to give due consideration to the variety and subtlety of teleology's intellectual antecedents. The purpose of this book is to restore the balance by looking at the manifold ways in which teleology in antiquity was viewed. The volume, consisting of twelve essays by (...)
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  17. added 2017-01-17
    Birch Jonathan, Kin Selection, Group Selection, and the Varieties of Population Structure.
    Various results show the ‘formal equivalence’ of kin and group selectionist methodologies, but this does not preclude there being a real and useful distinction between kin and group selection processes. I distinguish individual and population-centred approaches to drawing such a distinction, and I proceed to develop the latter. On the account I advance, the differences between kin and group selection are differences of degree in the structural properties of populations. A spatial metaphor provides a useful framework for thinking about these (...)
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  18. added 2017-01-17
    J. Luque Víctor (2016). Drift and Evolutionary Forces. Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 31 (3):397-410.
    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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  19. added 2017-01-17
    Niels Henrik Gregersen (2016). Deep Incarnation: From Deep History to Post-Axial Religion. Hts Theological Studies 72 (4):1-12.
    This article presents in broad outline the theological concept of deep incarnation and brings it into dialogue with correlative ideas of deep history and deep sociality. It will be argued that neither Christology, nor evolution, can be properly understood from a chronocentric perspective. Evolution is not only about development but also about the exploration of ecospace. Likewise, a contemporary Christology should explicate incarnation as a divine assumption of the full ecospace of the material world of creation. It will then be (...)
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  20. added 2017-01-17
    Marshall Abrams, Imprecise Probability and Biological Fitness.
    I argue that biological fitness sometimes depends on imprecise probabilities. I give a new argument that some outcomes are without objective probability, and argue that organisms encountering environments might sometimes be outcomes of this kind. I argue that since fitness depends on relationships between traits and environments, this means that fitness can depend on imprecise probabilities, and can be defined by an interval between maximum and minimum precise fitnesses. One trait is fitter than another when its minimum fitness is greater (...)
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  21. added 2017-01-17
    R. Gordon/J. Seckbach (ed.) (2016). Biocommunication: Sign-Mediated Interactions Between Cells and Organisms. World Scientific.
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  22. added 2017-01-17
    Jaco Beyers (2016). What Does Religion Have to Say About Ecology? A New Appraisal of Naturalism. Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies 15 (45):96-119.
    Humans as created matter engage with the transcendental. The difference between matter and spirit has been categorised: material and earthly existence is deemed impure and temporary. The spiritual existence is deemed of higher ethical quality. What does religion as an activity focussing on the “higher” spiritual realm have to say about the “wordly” existence of created matter? Worldviews and a religious anthropology determine the outcome. Where human existence is viewed as something other than created matter, a different relationship exists between (...)
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  23. added 2017-01-17
    Lynn Chiu & Gérard Eberl (2016). Microorganisms as Scaffolds of Host Individuality: An Eco-Immunity Account of the Holobiont. 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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  24. added 2017-01-17
    Eliseo Fernández (2016). Synergy of Energy and Semiosis: Cooperation Climbs the Tree of Life. Biosemiotics 9 (3):383-397.
    The course of biological evolution is regarded by many authors as an ascending path toward higher levels of variety, complexity and integration. There are similar but partly conflicting accounts of the nature and causes of this ascending course. With the aim of reaching a unified conception I start by summarily reviewing three notable examples. These are, in their latest presentations, those of Hoffmeyer and Stjernfelt 2015, Szathmáry 2015, and Lane 2015a. Comparison of their commonalities and divergences, combined with further reflections, (...)
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  25. added 2017-01-17
    Justin Donhauser (2016). Theoretical Ecology as Etiological From the Start. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 60:67-76.
    The world’s leading environmental advisory institutions look to ecological theory and research as an objective guide for policy and resource management decision-making. In addition to various theoretical merits of doing so, it is therefore crucially important to clear up confusions about ecology’s conceptual foundations and to make plain the basic workings of inferential methods used in the science. Through discussion of key moments in the genesis of the theoretical branch of ecology, this essay elucidates a general heuristic role of teleological (...)
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  26. added 2017-01-17
    Rappaport Margaret Boone & S. J. Christopher Corbally (2016). Did Morality First Evolve in Homo Erectus? Zagadnienia Filozoficzne W Nauce 61:105-131.
    With findings from cognitive science, neuroscience, information science, and paleoanthropology, an anthropologist and astronomer-priest team take a new look at the nature of morality, and suggest parameters that are often very different from the philosophical and theological literatures. They see morality as a biologically-based arbitration mechanism that works along a timeline with a valence of good to bad. It is rational, purposeful, social, and affected by emotion but not dominated by it. The authors examine the age and sex structure, family (...)
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  27. added 2017-01-17
    Talukder Md Munir Hossain (2016). On “Self-Realization” – The Ultimate Norm of Arne Naess’s Ecosophy T. Symposion 3 (2):219-235.
    This paper considers the foundation of self-realization and the sense of morality that could justify Arne Naess’s claim ‘Self-realization is morally neutral,’ by focusing on the recent debate among deep ecologists. Self-realization, the ultimate norm of Naess’s ecosophy T, is the realization of the maxim ‘everything is interrelated.’ This norm seems to be based on two basic principles: the diminishing of narrow ego, and the integrity between the human and non-human worlds. The paper argues that the former is an extension (...)
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  28. added 2017-01-17
    James Elwick (2016). Darwin Deleted: Imagining a World Without Darwin. [REVIEW] Review of Metaphysics 70 (1):123-124.
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  29. added 2017-01-17
    Pavlinov Igor (ed.) (2016). Aspects of Biodiversity. KMK Sci Press.
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  30. added 2017-01-17
    Tibayrenc M. & Ayala F. J. (eds.) (2016). On Human Nature: Evolution, Diversity, Psychology, Ethics, Politics and Religion. Academic Press.
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  31. added 2017-01-17
    Eva Boon (2016). A Remarkable Journey: The Story of Evolution. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 30 (1):88-90.
    A book review of R. Paul Thompson's "A Remarkable Journey: The Story of Evolution".
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  32. added 2017-01-17
    T. Bardini (2016). Future Life Will Be Synthetic: About the Emergence of Engineered Life, its Promises, Prophecies and the Formal Causalities Needed to Make Sense of Them. Social Science Information 55 (3):369-384.
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  33. added 2017-01-17
    J. Wentzel Van Huyssteen (2016). Rethinking the Theory of Evolution: New Perspectives on Human Evolution and Why It Matters for Theology. Hts Theological Studies 72 (4):1-5.
    This article addresses the issue of human imagination from the perspective of 'niche construction' in the wider discussion about 'what makes us human' and what it means to be a 'self', specifically for the Christian faith and for theology. In the article, a brief review of human origins and human evolution demonstrates the path and substantive impact of changes in behaviour, life histories and bodies in our human ancestors and us as humans ourselves. In the interactive process of niche construction, (...)
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  34. added 2017-01-17
    Chin-Fa Cheng (2016). Environmental Ontology in Deep Ecology and Mahayana Buddhism. Environmental Ethics 38 (2):145-163.
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  35. added 2017-01-17
    John Rensenbrink (2016). On Co-Evolution. Dialogue and Universalism 26 (4):21-24.
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  36. added 2017-01-17
    Constanza Rendón, Nahuel Pallitto & Guillermo Folguera, The Multitemporality of Life: An Analysis From Philosophy of Biology.
    ABSTRACT Although the issue of temporality has mainly been studied from Physics, this topic also exhibits diverse interesting aspects that could be addressed from a biological perspective. One possible way of approaching this subject is to examine the kinds of temporalities involved in biological processes. In that vein, the aim of this article is to analyze developmental and evolutionary processes' temporality in different biological fields of study, including a novel area which attempts to integrate the research of those processes. To (...)
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  37. added 2017-01-17
    David S. Oderberg, Could There Be a Superhuman Species?
    Transhumanism is the school of thought that advocates the use of technology to enhance the human species, to the point where some supporters consider that a new species altogether could arise. Even some critics think this at least a technological possibility. Some supporters also believe the emergence of a new, improved, superhuman species raises no special ethical questions. Through an examination of the metaphysics of species, and an analysis of the essence of the human species, I argue that the existence (...)
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  38. added 2017-01-17
    L. Arnhart (2014). Rousseau, Evolution, and Liberalism: A Response to Alex Schulman's 'Evolution's Republic'. Social Science Information 53 (4):545-546.
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  39. added 2017-01-17
    D. Lestel (2013). The Withering of Shared Life Through the Loss of Biodiversity. Social Science Information 52 (2):307-325.
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  40. added 2017-01-17
    J. P. Van Rossum, On Sexual Reproduction as a New Critique of the Theory of Natural Selection.
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  41. added 2017-01-17
    H. Paske Gerald, Ethics and the Human Genome Project.
    Full text of this article is not available in SOAR.
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  42. added 2017-01-17
    D. Guillo (2012). Does Culture Evolve by Means of Darwinian Selection? The Lessons of Candide's Travels. Social Science Information 51 (3):364-388.
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  43. added 2017-01-17
    J. Calvert & P. -B. Joly (2011). How Did the Gene Become a Chemical Compound? The Ontology of the Gene and the Patenting of DNA. Social Science Information 50 (2):157-177.
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  44. added 2017-01-17
    Phillip R. Sloan & Brandon Fogel (eds.) (2011). Creating a Physical Biology: The Three Man Paper and Early Molecular Biology. University of Chicago Press.
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  45. added 2017-01-17
    Capi (2010). Online Robot Strategy Adaptation by Learning and Evolution. Journal of Intelligent Systems 19 (1):1-16.
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  46. added 2017-01-17
    Artiga Marc (2010). Learning and Selection Processes. Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 25 (2):197-209.
    In this paper I defend a teleological explanation of normativity, i. e., I argue that what an organism is supposed to do is determined by its etiological function. In particular, I present a teleological account of the normativity that arises in learning processes, and I defend it from some objections.
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  47. added 2017-01-17
    Ghimire & Reddy (2009). Use of Model Tree and Gene Expression Programming to Predict the Suspended Sediment Load in Rivers. Journal of Intelligent Systems 18 (3):211-228.
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  48. added 2017-01-17
    Agah, Stiles & Soto (2009). Application of Genetic Algorithms to Transmit Code Problem of Synthetic Aperture Radar. Journal of Intelligent Systems 18 (1-2):105-122.
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  49. added 2017-01-17
    Sherwin (2009). Toward an Intelligent Automotive System. Journal of Intelligent Systems 18 (1-2):123-142.
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  50. added 2017-01-17
    Benson Saler (2009). Biology and Religion: On Establishing a Problematic. In Understanding Religion: Selected Essays. Walter de Gruyter.
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