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  1. A Trilemma for Teleological Individualism.John Basl - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4).
    This paper addresses the foundations of Teleological Individualism, the view that organisms, even non-sentient organisms, are goal-oriented systems while biological collectives, such as ecosystems or conspecific groups, are mere assemblages of organisms. Typical defenses of Teleological Individualism ground the teleological organization of organisms in the workings of natural selection. This paper shows that grounding teleological organization in natural selection is antithetical to Teleological Individualism because such views assume a view about the units of selection on which it is only individual (...)
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  • When is It Co-Evolution? A Reply to Steen and Co-Authors.Mark Sagoff - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (1):10.
    David Steen and co-authors in this journal offer a philosophical argument to support an “Evolutionary Community Concept” to identify what they call “evolutionary communities.” They describe these as “unique collections of species that interact and have co-evolved in a given geographic area” and that include “co-evolved dependencies between different parts of a community.” Steen et al. refer to the coevolution of assemblages, collections, communities, dependencies, interspecific and abiotic interactions, and traits, but they do not define “co-evolution” or provide an example (...)
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  • The Coupling of Taxonomy and Function in Microbiomes.S. Andrew Inkpen, Gavin M. Douglas, T. D. P. Brunet, Karl Leuschen, W. Ford Doolittle & Morgan G. I. Langille - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (6):1225-1243.
    Microbiologists are transitioning from the study and characterization of individual strains or species to the profiling of whole microbiomes and microbial ecology. Equipped with high-throughput methods for studying the taxonomic and functional characteristics of diverse samples, they are just beginning to encounter the conceptual, theoretical, and experimental problems of comparing taxonomy to function, and extracting useful measures from such comparisons. Although still unresolved, these problems are well studied in macro-ecology and are reiterated here as an historical precautionary for microbial ecologists. (...)
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