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The Spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian Paradigm: A Critique of the Adaptationist Programme

In E. Sober (ed.), Conceptual Issues in Evolutionary Biology. The Mit Press. Bradford Books. pp. 73-90 (1994)

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  1. Critical Human Ecology: Historical Materialism and Natural Laws.Richard York & Philip Mancus - 2009 - Sociological Theory 27 (2):122-149.
    We lay the foundations for a critical human ecology that combines the strengths of the biophysical human ecology tradition in environmental sociology with those of historical materialism. We show the strengths of a critically informed human ecology by addressing four key meta-theoretical issues: materialist versus idealist approaches in the social sciences, dialectical versus reductionist analyses, the respective importance of historical and ahistorical causal explanations, and the difference between structural and functional interpretations of phenomena. CHE breaks with the idealism of Western (...)
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  • Natural Self-Interest, Interactive Representation, and the Emergence of Objects and Umwelt: An Outline of Basic Semiotic Concepts for Biosemiotics.Tommi Vehkavaara - 2003 - Sign Systems Studies 31 (2):547-586.
    In biosemiotics, life and living phenomena are described by means of originally anthropomorphic semiotic concepts. This can be justified if we can show that living systems as self-maintaining far from equilibrium systems create and update some kind of representation about the conditions of their self-maintenance. The point of view is the one of semiotic realism where signs and representations are considered as real and objective natural phenomena without any reference to the specifically human interpreter. It is argued that the most (...)
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  • Psychopathy, Adaptation, and Disorder.Daniel Brian Krupp, Lindsay A. Sewall, Martin L. Lalumière, Craig Sheriff & Grant T. Harris - 2013 - Frontiers in Psychology 4:1-5.
    In a recent study, we found a negative association between psychopathy and violence against genetic relatives. We interpreted this result as a form of nepotism and argued that it failed to support the hypothesis that psychopathy is a mental disorder, suggesting instead that it supports the hypothesis that psychopathy is an evolved life history strategy. This interpretation and subsequent arguments have been challenged in a number of ways. Here, we identify several misunderstandings regarding the harmful dysfunction definition of mental disorder (...)
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  • The Cronin Controversy. [REVIEW]Paul E. Griffiths - 1995 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 46 (1):122-138.
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  • El origen evolutivo de la agencia moral y sus implicaciones para la ética.Andrés Richart - 2016 - Pensamiento 72 (273):849-864.
    La agencia moral, entendida como la facultad que permite la moralidad, aparece gracias a las estructuras psicobiológicas que componen sus condiciones de posibilidad. Trataremos de comprender su origen evolutivo atendiendo a la posibilidad de que la agencia moral surgiese como un subproducto de la evolución, que no aparece con una función concreta, y que sería resultado de la concurrencia de otros elementos que surgieron y se desarrollaron adaptativamente. Tras ello haremos algunas consideraciones respecto a las competencias de las ciencias empíricas (...)
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  • How-Possibly Explanation in Biology: Lessons From Wilhelm His’s ‘Simple Experiments’ Models.Christopher Pearson - 2018 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 10 (4).
    A common view of how-possibly explanations in biology treats them as explanatorily incomplete. In addition to this interpretation of how-possibly explanation, I argue that there is another interpretation, one which features what I term “explanatory strategies.” This strategy-centered interpretation of how-possibly explanation centers on there being a different explanatory context within which how-possibly explanations are offered. I contend that, in conditions where this strategy context is recognized, how-possibly explanations can be understood as complete explanations. I defend this alternative interpretation by (...)
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  • The Evolutionary Explanation of What?Bengt Autzen - 2018 - Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 11 (1):31-49.
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  • Review of Peter Machamer & Gereon Wolters (Eds.), Science, Values, and Objectivity. [REVIEW]Jonathan Y. Tsou - 2007 - Metaphilosophy 38 (1):127–132.
  • Heuristic Strategies in Systems Biology.Fridolin Gross - 2016 - Humana Mente 9 (30).
    Systems biology is sometimes presented as providing a superior approach to the problem of biological complexity. Its use of ‘unbiased’ methods and formal quantitative tools might lead to the impression that the human factor is effectively eliminated. However, a closer look reveals that this impression is misguided. Systems biologists cannot simply assemble molecular information and compute biological behavior. Instead, systems biology’s main contribution is to accelerate the discovery of mechanisms by applying models as heuristic tools. These models rely on a (...)
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  • Evolutionary Psychology, Ethology, and Essentialism (Because What They Don't Know Can Hurt Us).Letitia Meynell - 2012 - Hypatia 27 (1):3-27.
    In 2002, Evolution and Human Behavior published a study purporting to show that the differences in toy preferences commonly attributed to girls and boys can also be found in male and female vervet monkeys, tracing the origin of these differing preferences back to a common ancestor. Despite some flaws in its design and the prima facie implausibility of some of its central claims, this research received considerable attention in both scientific circles and the popular media. In what follows, I survey (...)
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  • Pluralism in Evolutionary Controversies: Styles and Averaging Strategies in Hierarchical Selection Theories.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther, Michael J. Wade & Christopher C. Dimond - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (6):957-979.
    Two controversies exist regarding the appropriate characterization of hierarchical and adaptive evolution in natural populations. In biology, there is the Wright-Fisher controversy over the relative roles of random genetic drift, natural selection, population structure, and interdemic selection in adaptive evolution begun by Sewall Wright and Ronald Aylmer Fisher. There is also the Units of Selection debate, spanning both the biological and the philosophical literature and including the impassioned group-selection debate. Why do these two discourses exist separately, and interact relatively little? (...)
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  • Prediction in Selectionist Evolutionary Theory.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (5):889-901.
    Selectionist evolutionary theory has often been faulted for not making novel predictions that are surprising, risky, and correct. I argue that it in fact exhibits the theoretical virtue of predictive capacity in addition to two other virtues: explanatory unification and model fitting. Two case studies show the predictive capacity of selectionist evolutionary theory: parallel evolutionary change in E. coli, and the origin of eukaryotic cells through endosymbiosis.
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  • The Mismeasure of Machine: Synthetic Biology and the Trouble with Engineering Metaphors.Maarten Boudry & Massimo Pigliucci - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):660-668.
    The scientific study of living organisms is permeated by machine and design metaphors. Genes are thought of as the ‘‘blueprint’’ of an organism, organisms are ‘‘reverse engineered’’ to discover their functionality, and living cells are compared to biochemical factories, complete with assembly lines, transport systems, messenger circuits, etc. Although the notion of design is indispensable to think about adaptations, and engineering analogies have considerable heuristic value (e.g., optimality assumptions), we argue they are limited in several important respects. In particular, the (...)
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  • Cross-Cultural Universality of Knowledge Attributions.Yuan Yuan & Minun Kim - manuscript
    We selected three effects of knowledge attribution recently reported about Anglo-American participants, i.e., (1) ceteris paribus people are less willing to ascribe knowledge for true beliefs based on probabilistic evidence than for true beliefs based on perceptual evidence; (2) ceteris paribus people are more willing to attribute knowledge to a protagonist when she engages in harmful activities than when she engages in beneficent activities even in Gettierized scenarios; (3) in certain cases, people are willing to attribute knowledge to a protagonist (...)
     
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  • Natural Goodness and Natural Evil.Joseph Millum - 2006 - Ratio 19 (2):199–213.
    In Natural Goodness Philippa Foot gives an analysis of the concepts we use to describe the characteristics of living things. She suggests that we describe them in functional terms, and this allows us to judge organisms as good or defective depending on how well they perform their distinctive functions. Foot claims that we can judge intentional human actions in the same way: the virtues contribute in obvious ways to good human functioning, and this provides us with grounds for making moral (...)
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  • The Philosophy of Generative Linguistics.Peter Ludlow - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
    Peter Ludlow presents the first book on the philosophy of generative linguistics, including both Chomsky's government and binding theory and his minimalist ...
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  • Neutral Theory, Biased World.William Bausman - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Minnesota
    The ecologist today finds scarce ground safe from controversy. Decisions must be made about what combination of data, goals, methods, and theories offers them the foundations and tools they need to construct and defend their research. When push comes to shove, ecologists often turn to philosophy to justify why it is their approach that is scientific. Karl Popper’s image of science as bold conjectures and heroic refutations is routinely enlisted to justify testing hypotheses over merely confirming them. One of the (...)
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  • Introduction: Points of Contact Between Biology and History.Marie I. Kaiser & Daniel Plenge - 2014 - In Marie I. Kaiser, Oliver Scholz, Daniel Plenge & Andreas Hüttemann (eds.), Explanation in the special science: The case of biology and history. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 1-23.
  • Extended Inheritance as Reconstruction of Extended Organization: The Paradigmatic Case of Symbiosis.Gaëlle Pontarotti - 2016 - Lato Sensu, Revue de la Société de Philosophie des Sciences 3 (1).
    The paper outlines the contours of an organizational perspective on extended inheritance. Based on theoretical studies about biological organization and extended physiology, this perspective allows for the conception of extended biological legacies while keeping a theoretically indispensable distinction between biological systems and their environment. In this context, the line of demarcation between these systems and their surroundings is modelled on an organizational criterion and on the related conceptual distinction between organizational constraints, whose specific role is to harness flows of matter (...)
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  • Is Behavioural Flexibility Evidence of Cognitive Complexity? How Evolution Can Inform Comparative Cognition.Irina Mikhalevich, Russell Powell & Corina Logan - 2017 - Interface Focus 7.
    Behavioural flexibility is often treated as the gold standard of evidence for more sophisticated or complex forms of animal cognition, such as planning, metacognition and mindreading. However, the evidential link between behavioural flexibility and complex cognition has not been explicitly or systematically defended. Such a defence is particularly pressing because observed flexible behaviours can frequently be explained by putatively simpler cognitive mechanisms. This leaves complex cognition hypotheses open to ‘deflationary’ challenges that are accorded greater evidential weight precisely because they offer (...)
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  • Duševne bolesti i rasprava o biološkim funkcijama (Eng. Mental ilness and the debate on biological functions).Zdenka Brzović - 2016 - In Snježana Prijić-Samaržija, Luca Malatesti & Elvio Baccarini (eds.), Moralni, Politički I Epistemološki Odgovori Na Društvene Devijacije (Eng. Moral, Political, and Epistemological Responses to Antisocial Deviation). Rijeka: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Rijeka. pp. 183-199.
    In this paper, I discuss the question whether objective criteria could be provided for judging something to be a mental illness. I consider the two most prominent objectivist or naturalistic accounts of mental illness, evolutionary and bio-statistical account, which offer such a criterion by relying on the notion of biological function. According to such suggestions, illness is a condition in which there is dysfunciton in some feature of an organism. In this context, I consider different accounts for ascribing functions in (...)
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  • EXPLICAÇÕES TELEOLÓGICAS E FUNCIONAIS EM LIVROS DIDÁTICOS DE BIOLOGIA DO ENSINO MÉDIO.Ricardo Santos do Carmo - 2010 - Dissertation, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Brazil
    Neste trabalho, avaliamos as implicações que o debate filosófico acerca das explicações em termos de função e objetivo podem ter no contexto educacional, particularmente no ensino e aprendizagem de biologia. Para alcançar este objetivo, investigamos como três obras didáticas de biologia do Brasil utilizam a linguagem teleológica na formulação de explicações para os assuntos que são objeto de estudo dessa ciência. Na análise das obras, exploramos os enunciados teleológicos e funcionais a partir de dois projetos explanatórios discutidos na filosofia da (...)
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  • Thought Experiments in Biology.Guillaume Schlaepfer & Marcel Weber - 2018 - In Michael T. Stuart, Yiftach J. H. Fehige & James Robert Brown (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Thought Experiments. London: Routledge. pp. 243-256.
    Unlike in physics, the category of thought experiment is not very common in biology. At least there are no classic examples that are as important and as well-known as the most famous thought experiments in physics, such as Galileo’s, Maxwell’s or Einstein’s. The reasons for this are far from obvious; maybe it has to do with the fact that modern biology for the most part sees itself as a thoroughly empirical discipline that engages either in real natural history or in (...)
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  • Why and How to Naturalize Semiotic Concepts for Biosemiotics.Tommi Vehkavaara - 2002 - Sign Systems Studies 30 (1):293-312.
    Any attempt to develop biosemiotics either towards a new biological ground theory or towards a metaphysics of living nature necessitates some kind of naturalization of its semiotic concepts. Instead of standard physicalistic naturalism, a certain kind of semiotic naturalism is pursued here. The naturalized concepts are defined as referring only to the objects of our external experience. When the semiotic concepts are applied to natural phenomena in biosemiotics, there is a risk of falling into anthropomorphic errors if the semiotic concepts (...)
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  • Why One Model is Never Enough: A Defense of Explanatory Holism.Hochstein Eric - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (6):1105-1125.
    Traditionally, a scientific model is thought to provide a good scientific explanation to the extent that it satisfies certain scientific goals that are thought to be constitutive of explanation. Problems arise when we realize that individual scientific models cannot simultaneously satisfy all the scientific goals typically associated with explanation. A given model’s ability to satisfy some goals must always come at the expense of satisfying others. This has resulted in philosophical disputes regarding which of these goals are in fact necessary (...)
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  • Commentary/Elqayam & Evans: Subtracting “Ought” From “Is”.Natalie Gold, Andrew M. Colman & Briony D. Pulfordb - 2011 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (5).
    Normative theories can be useful in developing descriptive theories, as when normative subjective expected utility theory is used to develop descriptive rational choice theory and behavioral game theory. “Ought” questions are also the essence of theories of moral reasoning, a domain of higher mental processing that could not survive without normative considerations.
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  • Manipulating the Contents of Consciousness.Alfredo Vernazzani - 2015 - Proceedings of the 37th Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.
    I argue for a manipulationist-mechanistic framework for content-NCC research in the case of visual consciousness (Bechtel 2008; Neisser 2012). Reference to mechanisms is common in the NCC research. Furthermore, recent developments in non-invasive brain stimulation techniques (NIBS) lend support to a manipulationist standpoint. The crucial question is to understand what is changed after manipulation of a brain mechanism. In the second part of the paper I review the literature on intentionalism, and argue that intervention on the neural mechanism is likely (...)
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  • Die Architektur der Synthese. Entstehung und Philosophie der modernen Evolutionstheorie.Marcel Weber - 1996 - Dissertation, University of Konstanz
    This Ph.D. thesis provides a pilosophical account of the structure of the evolutionary synthesis of the 1930s and 40s. The first, more historical part analyses how classical genetics came to be integrated into evolutionary thinking, highlighting in particular the importance of chromosomal mapping of Drosophila strains collected in the wild by Dobzansky, but also the work of Goldschmidt, Sumners, Timofeeff-Ressovsky and others. The second, more philosophical part attempts to answer the question wherein the unity of the synthesis consisted. I argue (...)
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  • Environments of Intelligence. From Natural Information to Artficial Interaction.Hajo Greif - 2017 - London: Routledge.
    What is the role of the environment, and of the information it provides, in cognition? More specifically, may there be a role for certain artefacts to play in this context? These are questions that motivate "4E" theories of cognition (as being embodied, embedded, extended, enactive). In his take on that family of views, Hajo Greif first defends and refines a concept of information as primarily natural, environmentally embedded in character, which had been eclipsed by information-processing views of cognition. He continues (...)
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  • When Will a Darwinian Approach Be Useful for the Study of Society?Samuel Bagg - 2017 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 16 (3):259-281.
    In recent years, some have claimed that a Darwinian perspective will revolutionize the study of human society and culture. This project is viewed with disdain and suspicion, on the other hand, by many practicing social scientists. This article seeks to clear the air in this heated debate by dissociating two claims that are too often assumed to be inseparable. The first is the ‘ontological’ claim that Darwinian principles apply, at some level of abstraction, to human society and culture. The second (...)
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  • Evolutionary Psychology.Stephen M. Downes - 2017 - In Lee McIntyre & Alex Rosenberg (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Social Science. New York, NY, USA: pp. 330-339.
  • The Extended (Evolutionary) Synthesis Debate: Where Science Meets Philosophy.Massimo Pigliucci & Leonard Finkelman - 2015 - BioScience 64 (6):511-516.
    Recent debates between proponents of the modern evolutionary synthesis (the standard model in evolutionary biology) and those of a possible extended synthesis are a good example of the fascinating tangle among empirical, theoretical, and conceptual or philosophical matters that is the practice of evolutionary biology. In this essay, we briefly discuss two case studies from this debate, highlighting the relevance of philosophical thinking to evolutionary biologists in the hope of spurring further constructive cross-pollination between the two fields.
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  • Defusing Ideological Defenses in Biology.Angela Potochnik - 2013 - BioScience 63 (2):118-123.
    Ideological language is widespread in theoretical biology. Evolutionary game theory has been defended as a worldview and a leap of faith, and sexual selection theory has been criticized for what it posits as basic to biological nature. Views such as these encourage the impression of ideological rifts in the field. I advocate an alternative interpretation, whereby many disagreements between different camps of biologists merely reflect methodological differences. This interpretation provides a more accurate and more optimistic account of the state of (...)
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  • 14. Real Traits, Real Functions?Colin Allen - 2002 - In Andre Ariew, Robert Cummins & Mark Perlman (eds.), Functions: New Essays in the Philosophy of Psychology and Biology. Oxford University Press. pp. 373.
    Discussions of the functions of biological traits generally take the notion of a trait for granted. Defining this notion is a non-trivial problem. Different approaches to function place different constraints on adequate accounts of the notion of a trait. Accounts of function based on engineering-style analyses allow trait boundaries to be a matter of human interest. Accounts of function based on natural selection have typically been taken to require trait boundaries that are objectively real. After canvassing problems raised by each (...)
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  • Dangerous Habits: Examining the Philosophical Baggage of Biological Research.Massimo Pigliucci - 2003 - Dissertation, The University of Tennessee
    Science is about conceptualizing the natural world in a way that can be understood by human beings while at the same time reflecting as much as possible what we can empirically infer about how the world actually is. Among the crucial tools that allow scientists to formulate hypotheses and to contribute to a progressive understanding of nature are the use of imagery and metaphors, on the one hand, and the ability to assume certain starting points on which to build new (...)
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  • Biosemiotics in the Twentieth Century: A View From Biology.Kalevi Kull - 1999 - Semiotica 127 (1-4):385-414.
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  • What's Darwinian About Historical Materialism? A Critique of Levine and Sober.Paul Nolan - 2002 - Historical Materialism 10 (2):143-169.
  • From Developmental Constraint to Evolvability: How Concepts Figure in Explanation and Disciplinary Identity.Ingo Brigandt - 2015 - In Alan C. Love (ed.), Conceptual Change in Biology: Scientific and Philosophical Perspectives on Evolution and Development. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 305-325.
    The concept of developmental constraint was at the heart of developmental approaches to evolution of the 1980s. While this idea was widely used to criticize neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory, critique does not yield an alternative framework that offers evolutionary explanations. In current Evo-devo the concept of constraint is of minor importance, whereas notions as evolvability are at the center of attention. The latter clearly defines an explanatory agenda for evolutionary research, so that one could view the historical shift from ‘developmental constraint’ (...)
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  • Evaluating Williamson’s Anti-Scepticism.Tony Cheng - 2008 - Sorites 21:06-11.
    Timothy Williamson’s Knowledge and its Limits has been highly influential since the beginning of this century. It can be read as a systematic response to scepticism. One of the most important notions in this response is the notion of «evidence,» which will be the focus of the present paper. I attempt to show primarily two things. First, the notion of evidence invoked by Williamson does not address the sceptical worry: he stipulates an objective notion of evidence, but this begs the (...)
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  • Beyond Intuition and Instinct Blindness: Toward an Evolutionary Rigorous Cognitive Science.Leda Cosmides & John Tooby - 1994 - Cognition 50 (1-3):41-77.
  • The Conceptual Act Theory: A Precis.L. F. Barrett - 2014 - Emotion Review 6 (4):292-297.
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  • Understanding Life: Recent Work in Philosophy of Biology.Kim Sterelny - 1995 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 46 (2):155-183.
    This paper surveys recent philosophy of biology. It aims to introduce outsiders to the field to the recent literature (which is reviewed in the footnotes) and the main recent debates. I concentrate on three of these: recent critiques of the replicator/vehicle distinction and its application to the idea of the gene as the unit of section; the recent defences of group selection and the idea that standard alternatives to group selection are in fact no more than a disguised form of (...)
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  • Common Ancestry and Natural Selection.Elliott Sober & Steven Hecht Orzack - 2003 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (3):423-437.
    We explore the evidential relationships that connect two standard claims of modern evolutionary biology. The hypothesis of common ancestry (which says that all organisms now on earth trace back to a single progenitor) and the hypothesis of natural selection (which says that natural selection has been an important influence on the traits exhibited by organisms) are logically independent; however, this leaves open whether testing one requires assumptions about the status of the other. Darwin noted that an extreme version of adaptationism (...)
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  • The Psychology of Worldviews: Toward a Non-Reductive Science of Personality.Artur Nilsson - unknown
    Persons are not just mechanical systems of instinctual animalistic proclivities, but also language-producing, existentially aware creatures, whose experiences and actions are drenched in subjective meaning. To understand a human being as a person is to understand him or her as a rational system that wants, fears, hopes, believes, and in other ways imbues the world with meaning, rather than just a mechanical system that is subject to the same chains of cause and effect as other animals. But contemporary personality psychology (...)
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  • The Historical Turn in the Study of Adaptation.Paul E. Griffiths - 1996 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (4):511-532.
    A number of philosophers and ‘evolutionary psychologists’ have argued that attacks on adaptationism in contemporary biology are misguided. These thinkers identify anti-adaptationism with advocacy of non-adaptive modes of explanation. They overlook the influence of anti-adaptationism in the development of more rigorous forms of adaptive explanation. Many biologists who reject adaptationism do not reject Darwinism. Instead, they have pioneered the contemporary historical turn in the study of adaptation. One real issue which remains unresolved amongst these methodological advances is the nature of (...)
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  • The Genomic Challenge to Adaptationism.Sahotra Sarkar - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (3):505-536.
    Since the late 1990s, the characterization of complete DNA sequences for a large and taxonomically diverse set of species has continued to gain in speed and accuracy. Sequence analyses have indicated a strikingly baroque structure for most eukaryotic genomes, with multiple repeats of DNA sequences and with very little of the DNA specifying proteins. Much of the DNA in these genomes has no known function. These results have generated strong interest in the factors that govern the evolution of genome architecture. (...)
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  • On Fitness.Costas B. Krimbas - 2004 - Biology and Philosophy 19 (2):185-203.
    The concept of fitness, central to population genetics and to the synthetic theory of evolution, is discussed. After a historical introduction on the origin of this concept, the current meaning of it in population genetics is examined: a cause of the selective process and its quantification. Several difficulties arise for its exact definition. Three adequacy criteria for such a definition are formulated. It is shown that it is impossible to formulate an adequate definition of fitness respecting these criteria. The propensity (...)
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  • Explaining the Social Contract.Zachary Ernst - 2001 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (1):1-24.
    Brian Skyrms has argued that the evolution of the social contract may be explained using the tools of evolutionary game theory. I show in the first half of this paper that the evolutionary game-theoretic models are often highly sensitive to the specific processes that they are intended to simulate. This sensitivity represents an important robustness failure that complicates Skyrms's project. But I go on to make the positive proposal that we may none the less obtain robust results by simulating the (...)
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  • Explanatory Independence and Epistemic Interdependence: A Case Study of the Optimality Approach.Angela Potochnik - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (1):213-233.
    The value of optimality modeling has long been a source of contention amongst population biologists. Here I present a view of the optimality approach as at once playing a crucial explanatory role and yet also depending on external sources of confirmation. Optimality models are not alone in facing this tension between their explanatory value and their dependence on other approaches; I suspect that the scenario is quite common in science. This investigation of the optimality approach thus serves as a case (...)
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  • An Explication of the Causal Dimension of Drift.Peter Gildenhuys - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (3):521-555.
    Among philosophers, controversy over the notion of drift in population genetics is ongoing. This is at least partly because the notion of drift has an ambiguous usage among population geneticists. My goal in this paper is to explicate the causal dimension of drift, to say what causal influences are responsible for the stochasticity in population genetics models. It is commonplace for population genetics to oppose the influence of selection to that of drift, and to consider how the dynamics of populations (...)
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