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  1. General Solution to All Philosophical Problems With Some Exceptions.Wayde Beasley - forthcoming - north of parallel 40: Numerous uncommitted.
    Philosophy is unsolved. My forthcoming book sets forth the final resolution, with some exceptions, to this 2,500 year crisis. I am currently close to finishing page 983.
     
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  • Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Science.Christopher Hitchcock (ed.) - 2004 - Blackwell.
    Showcasing original arguments for well-defined positions, as well as clear and concise statements of sophisticated philosophical views, this volume is an ...
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  • Biological Preparedness and Evolutionary Explanation.Denise Dellarosa Cummins & Robert Cummins - 1999 - Cognition 73 (3):B37-B53.
    It is commonly supposed that evolutionary explanations of cognitive phenomena involve the assumption that the capacities to be explained are both innate and modular. This is understandable: independent selection of a trait requires that it be both heritable and largely decoupled from other ”nearby’ traits. Cognitive capacities realized as innate modules would certainly satisfy these contraints. A viable evolutionary cognitive psychology, however, requires neither extreme nativism nor modularity, though it is consistent with both. In this paper, we seek to show (...)
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  • What’s in a Cause?: The Pragmatic Dimensions of Genetic Explanations. [REVIEW]Lisa Gannett - 1999 - Biology and Philosophy 14 (3):349-373.
    The paper argues for a pragmatic account of genetic explanation. This is to say that when a disease or other trait is termed genetic, the reasons for singling out genes as causes over other, also necessary, genetic and nongenetic conditions are not wholly theoretical but include pragmatic dimensions. Whether the explanation is the presence of a trait in an individual or differences in a trait among individuals, genetic explanations are context-dependent in three ways: they are relative to a causal background (...)
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  • Consumers Need Information: Supplementing Teleosemantics with an Input Condition.Nicholas Shea - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (2):404-435.
    The success of a piece of behaviour is often explained by its being caused by a true representation (similarly, failure falsity). In some simple organisms, success is just survival and reproduction. Scientists explain why a piece of behaviour helped the organism to survive and reproduce by adverting to the behaviour’s having been caused by a true representation. That usage should, if possible, be vindicated by an adequate naturalistic theory of content. Teleosemantics cannot do so, when it is applied to simple (...)
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  • Developmental Explanation and the Ontogeny of Birdsong: Nature/Nurture Redux.Timothy Johnston - 1988 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (4):617-630.
    Despite several decades of criticism, dichotomous thinking about behavioral development remains widespread and influential. This is particularly true in study of birdsong development, where it has become increasingly common to diagnose songs, elements of songs, or precursors of songs as either innate or learned on the basis of isolation-rearing experiments. The theory of sensory templates has encouraged both the dichotomous approach and an emphasis on structural rather than functional aspects of song development. As a result, potentially important lines of investigation (...)
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  • Genetic Traits.Fred Gifford - 1990 - Biology and Philosophy 5 (3):327-347.
    Recognizing that all traits are the result of an interaction between genes and environment, I offer a set of criteria for nevertheless making sense of our practice of singling out certain traits as genetic ones, in effect making a distinction between causes and mere conditions. The central criterion is that a trait is genetic if it is genetic differences that make the differences in that trait variable in a given population. A second criterion requires that genetic traits be individuated in (...)
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  • Biological Information.Peter Godfrey-Smith & Kim Sterelny - 2007 - In Thaddeus Metz (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford University.
  • Rethinking Nature and Nurture in Education.Jack Marley-Payne - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy of Education.
    Journal of Philosophy of Education, EarlyView.
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  • Historical Evidence and Human Adaptations.Jonathan Kaplan - 2002 - Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 69:S294-S304.
    Phylogenetic information is often necessary to distinguish between evolutionary scenarios. Recently, some prominent proponents of evolutionary psychology have acknowledged this, and have claimed that such evidence has in fact been brought to bear on adaptive hypotheses involving complex human psychological traits. Were this possible, it would be a valuable source of evidence regarding hypothesized adaptive traits in humans. However, the structure of the Hominidae family makes this difficult or impossible. For many traits of interest, the closest extant relatives to the (...)
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  • Eco-evo-devo and iterated learning: towards an integrated approach in the light of niche construction.José Segovia-Martín & Sergio Balari - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (4):1-23.
    In this paper we argue that ecological evolutionary developmental biology accounts of cognitive modernity are compatible with cultural evolution theories of language built upon iterated learning models. Cultural evolution models show that the emergence of near universal properties of language do not require the preexistence of strong specific constraints. Instead, the development of general abilities, unrelated to informational specificity, like the copying of complex signals and sharing of communicative intentions is required for cultural evolution to yield specific properties, such as (...)
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  • Nature and Nurture in Cognition.Muhammad Ali Khalidi - 2002 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 53 (2):251-272.
    This paper advocates a dispositional account of innate cognitive capacities, which has an illustrious history from Plato to Chomsky. The "triggering model" of innateness, first made explicit by Stich ([1975]), explicates the notion in terms of the relative informational content of the stimulus (input) and the competence (output). The advantage of this model of innateness is that it does not make a problematic reference to normal conditions and avoids relativizing innate traits to specific populations, as biological models of innateness are (...)
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  • Happiness: The Potential Power of Environment.Clifford Sosis - 2012 - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 7.
    Many scientists have argued that they can determine to what extent human happiness levels are controlled by genes by comparing the average happiness levels of identical twins raised apart. If we discover that identical twins raised apart tend to be more hedonically similar than fraternal twins raised apart, this is interpreted as evidence for the thesis that genes have a strong influence on our happiness levels. If identical twins are hedonically dissimilar, as dissimilar as fraternal twins raised apart, this has (...)
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  • The Evolutionary Gene and the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis.Qiaoying Lu & Pierrick Bourrat - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (3):775-800.
    Advocates of an ‘extended evolutionary synthesis’ have claimed that standard evolutionary theory fails to accommodate epigenetic inheritance. The opponents of the extended synthesis argue that the evidence for epigenetic inheritance causing adaptive evolution in nature is insufficient. We suggest that the ambiguity surrounding the conception of the gene represents a background semantic issue in the debate. Starting from Haig’s gene-selectionist framework and Griffiths and Neumann-Held’s notion of the evolutionary gene, we define senses of ‘gene’, ‘environment’, and ‘phenotype’ in a way (...)
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  • Pearson’s Wrong Turning: Against Statistical Measures of Causal Efficacy.Robert Northcott - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (5):900-912.
    Standard statistical measures of strength of association, although pioneered by Pearson deliberately to be acausal, nowadays are routinely used to measure causal efficacy. But their acausal origins have left them ill suited to this latter purpose. I distinguish between two different conceptions of causal efficacy, and argue that: 1) Both conceptions can be useful 2) The statistical measures only attempt to capture the first of them 3) They are not fully successful even at this 4) An alternative definition more squarely (...)
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  • The Human Genome Project.Lisa Gannett - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • The Multifaceted Legacy of the Human Genome Program for Evolutionary Biology: An Epistemological Perspective.Philippe Huneman - 2019 - Perspectives on Science 27 (1):117-152.
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  • The Bell Curve Case for Heredity.Max Hocutt & Michael Levin - 1999 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 29 (3):389-415.
    City College of New York The hereditarian theory of race differences in IQ was briefly revived with the appearance of The Bell Curve but then quickly dismissed. The authors attempt a defense of it here, with an eye to conceptual and logical issues of special interests to philosophers, such as alleged infirmities in the heritability concept. At the same time, some relevant post-Bell Curve empirical data are introduced.
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  • Scientific Pluralism.Stephen H. Kellert, Helen E. Longino & C. Kenneth Waters (eds.) - 2006 - Univ of Minnesota Press.
    Scientific pluralism is an issue at the forefront of philosophy of science. This landmark work addresses the question, Can pluralism be advanced as a general, philosophical interpretation of science?
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  • What Do Double Dissociations Prove?G. Van Orden - 2001 - Cognitive Science 25 (1):111-172.
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  • What Do Double Dissociations Prove?Guy C. Orden, Bruce F. Pennington & Gregory O. Stone - 2001 - Cognitive Science 25 (1):111-172.
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  • Singing Down a Blind Alley.John Alcock - 1988 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (4):630-631.
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  • Contrastive Statistical Explanation and Causal Heterogeneity.Jaakko Kuorikoski - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (3):435-452.
    Probabilistic phenomena are often perceived as being problematic targets for contrastive explanation. It is usually thought that the possibility of contrastive explanation hinges on whether or not the probabilistic behaviour is irreducibly indeterministic, and that the possible remaining contrastive explananda are token event probabilities or complete probability distributions over such token outcomes. This paper uses the invariance-under-interventions account of contrastive explanation to argue against both ideas. First, the problem of contrastive explanation also arises in cases in which the probabilistic behaviour (...)
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  • Basing Science Ethics on Respect for Human Dignity.Mehmet Aközer & Emel Aközer - 2016 - Science and Engineering Ethics 22 (6):1627-1647.
    A “no ethics” principle has long been prevalent in science and has demotivated deliberation on scientific ethics. This paper argues the following: An understanding of a scientific “ethos” based on actual “value preferences” and “value repugnances” prevalent in the scientific community permits and demands critical accounts of the “no ethics” principle in science. The roots of this principle may be traced to a repugnance of human dignity, which was instilled at a historical breaking point in the interrelation between science and (...)
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  • Three Kinds of Constructionism: The Role of Metaphor in the Debate Over Niche Constructionism.Emanuele Archetti - 2015 - Biological Theory 10 (2):103-115.
    Throughout the years a lively debate has flourished around niche construction theory. A source of contention has been the distinction between narrow and broad construction activities proposed by critics. Narrow construction is limited to the production of evolutionarily advantageous artifacts while broad construction refers to construction activities that have an impact on the ecosystem but offer little or negative adaptive feedback to the organisms. The first has been acknowledged as relevant to evolutionary studies in that it increases species’ fitness and (...)
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  • The Redoubtable Cell.Andrew Reynolds - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 41 (3):194-201.
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  • Fighting the Good Cause: Meaning, Purpose, Difference, and Choice.David Haig - 2014 - Biology and Philosophy 29 (5):675-697.
    Concepts of cause, choice, and information are closely related. A cause is a choice that can be held responsible. It is a difference that makes a difference. Information about past causes and their effects is a valuable commodity because it can be used to guide future choices. Information about criteria of choice is generated by choosing a subset from an ensemble for ‘reasons’ and has meaning for an interpreter when it is used to achieve an end. Natural selection evolves interpreters (...)
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  • Innateness.Steven Gross & Georges Rey - forthcoming - In Eric Margolis, Richard Samuels & Stephen Stich (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Cognitive Science. Oxford University Press.
    A survey of innateness in cognitive science, focusing on (1) what innateness might be, and (2) whether concepts might be innate.
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  • From a Genetic Predisposition to an Interactive Predisposition: Rethinking the Ethical Implications of Screening for Gene-Environment Interactions.James Tabery - 2009 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 34 (1):27-48.
    In a widely acclaimed study from 2002, researchers found a case of gene-environment interaction for a gene controlling neuroenzymatic activity (low vs. high), exposure to childhood maltreatment, and antisocial personality disorder (ASPD). Cases of gene-environment interaction are generally characterized as evincing a genetic predisposition; for example, individuals with low neuroenzymatic activity are generally characterized as having a genetic predisposition to ASPD. I first argue that the concept of a genetic predisposition fundamentally misconstrues these cases of gene-environment interaction. This misconstrual will (...)
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  • The Strategic Gene.David Haig - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (4):461-479.
    Abstract Gene-selectionists define fundamental terms in non-standard ways. Genes are determinants of difference. Phenotypes are defined as a gene’s effects relative to some alternative whereas the environment is defined as all parts of the world that are shared by the alternatives being compared. Environments choose among phenotypes and thereby choose among genes. By this process, successful gene sequences become stores of information about what works in the environment. The strategic gene is defined as a set of gene tokens that combines (...)
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  • Genetic Determinism and the Innate-Acquired Distinction.Maria Kronfeldner - 2009 - Medicine Studies 1 (2):167-181.
    This article illustrates in which sense genetic determinism is still part of the contemporary interactionist consensus in medicine. Three dimensions of this consensus are discussed: kinds of causes, a continuum of traits ranging from monogenetic diseases to car accidents, and different kinds of determination due to different norms of reaction. On this basis, this article explicates in which sense the interactionist consensus presupposes the innate?acquired distinction. After a descriptive Part 1, Part 2 reviews why the innate?acquired distinction is under attack (...)
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  • On the Relativity of Quantitative Genetic Variance Components.Charles J. Goodnight - 1990 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 13 (1):134-135.
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  • Between Holism and Reductionism: A Philosophical Primer on Emergence.Massimo Pigliucci - 2013 - Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 112 (2):261-267.
    Ever since Darwin a great deal of the conceptual history of biology may be read as a struggle between two philosophical positions: reductionism and holism. On the one hand, we have the reductionist claim that evolution has to be understood in terms of changes at the fundamental causal level of the gene. As Richard Dawkins famously put it, organisms are just ‘lumbering robots’ in the service of their genetic masters. On the other hand, there is a long holistic tradition that (...)
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  • What Are We to Make of the Concept of Race? Thoughts of a Philosopher–Scientist.Massimo Pigliucci - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (3):272-277.
    Discussions about the biological bases (or lack thereof) of the concept of race in the human species seem to be never ending. One of the latest rounds is represented by a paper by Neven Sesardic, which attempts to build a strong scientific case for the existence of human races, based on genetic, morphometric and behavioral characteristics, as well as on a thorough critique of opposing positions. In this paper I show that Sesardic’s critique falls far short of the goal, and (...)
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  • Genetic Variance–Covariance Matrices: A Critique of the Evolutionary Quantitative Genetics Research Program.Massimo Pigliucci - 2006 - Biology and Philosophy 21 (1):1-23.
    This paper outlines a critique of the use of the genetic variance–covariance matrix (G), one of the central concepts in the modern study of natural selection and evolution. Specifically, I argue that for both conceptual and empirical reasons, studies of G cannot be used to elucidate so-called constraints on natural selection, nor can they be employed to detect or to measure past selection in natural populations – contrary to what assumed by most practicing biologists. I suggest that the search for (...)
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  • Dispersion of Response Times Reveals Cognitive Dynamics.John G. Holden, Guy C. Van Orden & Michael T. Turvey - 2009 - Psychological Review 116 (2):318-342.
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  • Causation and Models of Disease in Epidemiology.Alex Broadbent - 2009 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 40 (4):302-311.
    Nineteenth-century medical advances were entwined with a conceptual innovation: the idea that many cases of disease which were previously thought to have diverse causes could be explained by the action of a single kind of cause, for example a certain bacterial or parasitic infestation. The focus of modern epidemiology, however, is on chronic non-communicable diseases, which frequently do not seem to be attributable to any single causal factor. This paper is an effort to resolve the resulting tension. The paper criticises (...)
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  • Comparing Apples with Oranges.Robert Northcott - 2005 - Analysis 65 (1):12-18.
    Comparisons of causal efficacy are ubiquitous in the practice of science and indeed everyday life. I focus on just one aspect of this task – one to my knowledge nowhere yet addressed satisfactorily – namely, comparing the efficacies of two causes that work in apparently incommensurable ways. Contrary to common opinion I argue that, to be comparable, it is neither necessary nor sufficient that two causes also be commensurable.
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  • Degree of Explanation.Robert Northcott - 2012 - Synthese 190 (15):3087-3105.
    Partial explanations are everywhere. That is, explanations citing causes that explain some but not all of an effect are ubiquitous across science, and these in turn rely on the notion of degree of explanation. I argue that current accounts are seriously deficient. In particular, they do not incorporate adequately the way in which a cause’s explanatory importance varies with choice of explanandum. Using influential recent contrastive theories, I develop quantitative definitions that remedy this lacuna, and relate it to existing measures (...)
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  • Developmental Systems Theory Formulated as a Claim About Inherited Representations.Nicholas Shea - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (1):60-82.
    Developmental Systems Theory (DST) emphasises the importance of non-genetic factors in development and their relevance to evolution. A common, deflationary reaction is that it has long been appreciated that non-genetic factors are causally indispensable. This paper argues that DST can be reformulated to make a more substantive claim: that the special role played by genes is also played by some (but not all) non-genetic resources. That special role is to transmit inherited representations, in the sense of Shea (2007: Biology and (...)
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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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  • Socio-Ecological Webs and Sites of Sociality:Levins' Strategy of Model Building Revisited. [REVIEW]Peter Taylor - 2000 - Biology and Philosophy 15 (2):197-210.
    This essay extends Levins'' 1966 analysis of modelbuilding in ecology and evolutionary biology. Amodel, as the product of modeling, might bevalued according to its correspondence to reality. Yet Levins'' emphasis on provisionality and changeredirects attention to the processes ofmodeling, through which scientists select and generatetheir problems, define their categories, collect theirdata, compare competing models, and present theirfindings. I identify several points where decisionsare required that are not determined by nature. Thisinvites examination of the social considerationsmodelers are reacting to at the (...)
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  • Climate Change, Intergenerational Justice, and the Non-Identity Effect.Thomas D. Bontly - 2020 - Intergenerational Justice Review 5 (2).
    Do we owe it to future generations, as a requirement of justice, to take action to mitigate anthropogenic climate change? This paper examines the implications of Derek Parfit’s notorious non-identity problem for that question. An argument from Jörg Tremmel that the non-identity effect of climate policy is “insignificant” is examined and found wanting, and a contrastive, difference-making approach for comparing different choices’ non-identity effects is developed. Using the approach, it is argued that the non-identity effect of a given policy response (...)
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  • Okasha’s Evolution and the Levels of Selection: Toward a Broader Conception of Theoretical Biology: Oxford University Press, Oxford. [REVIEW]Massimo Pigliucci - 2010 - Biology and Philosophy 25 (3):405-415.
    The debate about the levels of selection has been one of the most controversial both in evolutionary biology and in philosophy of science. Okasha’s book makes the sort of contribution that simply will not be able to be ignored by anyone interested in this field for many years to come. However, my interest here is in highlighting some examples of how Okasha goes about discussing his material to suggest that his book is part of an increasingly interesting trend that sees (...)
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  • What is the Developmentalist Challenge?Paul E. Griffiths & Robin D. Knight - 1998 - Philosophy of Science 65 (2):253-258.
  • Situatedness and Problematic Boundaries: Conceptualizing Life's Complex Ecological Context. [REVIEW]Peter Taylor & Yrjö Haila - 2001 - Biology and Philosophy 16 (4):521-532.
    A key challenge in conceptualizing ecological complexity is to allow simultaneously for particularity, contingency, and structure, and for such structure to be internally differentiated,dynamically tied to its context, and subject torestructuring. Because all organisms live insuch dynamic ecological circumstances, philosophy of ecology could become the leading site for addressing difficult conceptual questions concerning the situatedness or positionality of organisms –humans included – in their changing and intersecting worlds.
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  • Constant Factors and Hedgeless Hedges: On Heuristics and Biases Developmental Biology.Jason Scott Robert - unknown
    How does a complex organism develop from a relatively simple, homogeneous mass? The usual answer is: through the execution of species-specific genetic instructions specifying the development of that organism. Commentators are sometimes sceptical of this usual answer, but of course not all commentators. Some biologists refer to master control genes responsible for the activation of all the genes responsible for every aspect of organismal development; and some philosophers, most notoriously Rosenberg, buy this claim hook, line, and sinker. Here I explore (...)
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  • The Evolutionary Gene and the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis.Qiaoying Lu & Pierrick Bourrat - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axw035.
    Advocates of an ‘extended evolutionary synthesis’ have claimed that standard evolutionary theory fails to accommodate epigenetic inheritance. The opponents of the extended synthesis argue that the evidence for epigenetic inheritance causing adaptive evolution in nature is insufficient. We suggest that the ambiguity surrounding the conception of the gene represents a background semantic issue in the debate. Starting from Haig’s gene-selectionist framework and Griffiths and Neumann-Held’s notion of the evolutionary gene, we define senses of ‘gene’, ‘environment’, and ‘phenotype’ in a way (...)
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  • Pluralism and Incommensurability in Suicide Research.Hane Htut Maung - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 80:101247.
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  • Heritability.Stephen M. Downes & Lucas J. Matthews - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Lucas Matthews and I substantially revised my SEP entry on Heritability. This version includes discussion of the missing heritability problem and other issues that arise from the use of Genome Wide Association Studies by Behavioral Geneticists.
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