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  1. Managing Variation in the Investigation of Organismal Development: Problems and Opportunities.James W. E. Lowe - 2015 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 37 (4):449-473.
    This paper aims to clarify the consequences of new scientific and philosophical approaches for the practical-theoretical framework of modern developmental biology. I highlight normal development, and the instructive-permissive distinction, as key parts of this framework which shape how variation is conceptualised and managed. Furthermore, I establish the different dimensions of biological variation: the units, temporality and mode of variation. Using the analytical frame established by this, I interpret a selection of examples as challenges to the instructive-permissive distinction. These examples include (...)
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  • Environmental Inheritance: Conceptual Ambiguities and Theoretical Issues.Gaëlle Pontarotti - forthcoming - Biological Theory:1-16.
    The concept of biological inheritance has recently been extended so as to integrate, among other elements, parts of organisms’ environments. The literature refers to the trans-generational reconstruction of these parts in terms of environmental or ecological inheritance. This article’s main objective is to clarify the different meanings of "environmental inheritance," to underline so far unnoticed theoretical difficulties associated to this polysemous notion and to consequently argue that inheritance, even when extended, should be theoretically distinguished from trans-generational environmental stability. After disentangling (...)
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  • Organism and Environment in Auguste Comte.Ryan McVeigh - forthcoming - History of the Human Sciences:095269512091790.
    This article focuses on Auguste Comte’s understanding of the organism–environment relationship. It makes three key claims therein: Comte’s metaphysical position privileged materiality and relativized the intellect along two dimensions: one related to the biological organism, one related to the social environment; this twofold materiality confounds attempts to reduce cognition to either nature or nurture, so Comte’s position has interesting parallels to the field of ‘epigenetics’, which sees the social environment as a causative factor in biology; and although Comte ultimately diverged (...)
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  • Environment as Abstraction.Denis Walsh - forthcoming - Biological Theory:1-12.
    The concept of the environment appears to be indispensably involved in adaptive explanation. Quite what its role is, however, is a matter of some dispute. The environment is customarily viewed as the dual of the organism; a wholly external, discrete, autonomous cause of evolution. On this view, the external environment is the principal cause of the adaptedness of form, and the determinant of what it is to be an adaptation. I argue that this conception of the environment neither adequately explains (...)
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  • The Rise of the “Environment”: Lamarckian Environmentalism Between Life Sciences and Social Philosophy.Ferhat Taylan - forthcoming - Biological Theory:1-16.
    It is common to designate Lamarck and Lamarckism as the main historical references for conceptualizing the relationship between organisms and the environment. The Lamarckian principle of the inheritance of acquired characters is often considered to be the central aspect of the “environmentalism” developed in this lineage, up to recent debates concerning the possible Lamarckian origins of epigenetics. Rather than focusing only on heredity, this article will explore the materialist aspect of the Lamarckian conception of the environment, seeking to highlight that (...)
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  • William Benjamin Carpenter and the Emerging Science of Heredity.John Lidwell-Durnin - 2020 - Journal of the History of Biology 53 (1):81-103.
    In the nineteenth century, farmers, doctors, and the wider public shared a family of questions and anxieties concerning heredity. Questions over whether injuries, mutilations, and bad habits could be transmitted to offspring had existed for centuries, but found renewed urgency in the popular and practical scientific press from the 1820s onwards. Sometimes referred to as “Lamarckism” or “the inheritance of acquired characteristics,” the potential for transmitting both desirable and disastrous traits to offspring was one of the most pressing scientific questions (...)
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  • Herbert Spencer: Between Darwin and Cuvier.Gustavo Caponi - 2014 - Scientiae Studia 12 (1):45-71.
    En sus Principios de biología de 1864, Spencer esboza una complementación entre el cuvierianismo transformacional mitigado que daba sentido a la idea de equilibración directa ahí presentada, y la teoría de la selección natural que Darwin ya había formulado en 1859. Era a este último mecanismo que Spencer denominaba "equilibración indirecta". Según Spencer, esta segunda forma de equilibración permitía explicar fenómenos evolutivos que la primera, la equilibración directa, no podía causar; aunque para él también era evidente que el accionar de (...)
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  • Le désir du milieu.Victor Petit - 2017 - la Deleuziana 6:10-25.
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  • Ecosystem Engineering, Experiment, and Evolution.Trevor Pearce - 2011 - Biology and Philosophy 26 (6):793-812.
    This paper argues that philosophers should pay more attention to the idea of ecosystem engineering and to the scientific literature surrounding it. Ecosystem engineering is a broad but clearly delimited concept that is less subject to many of the “it encompasses too much” criticisms that philosophers have directed at niche construction . The limitations placed on the idea of ecosystem engineering point the way to a narrower idea of niche construction. Moreover, experimental studies in the ecosystem engineering literature provide detailed (...)
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  • Herbert Spencer and the Paradox of War.Paul Schuurman - 2016 - Intellectual History Review 26 (4):519-535.
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  • Philosophy of Biology in the Twenty-First Century. [REVIEW]Trevor Pearce - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (1):312-315.
    Essay review of Michael Ruse (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Biology (2008).
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