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  1. Who are We, and Who (or What) Do We Want to Become? An Evolutionary Perspective on Biotransformative Technologies.James Lyons-Weiler - 2022 - Biological Theory 17 (2):138-152.
    Human evolution sits at several important thresholds. In organic evolution, interplay between exogenous environmental and genetic factors rendered new phenotypes at rates limited by genetic variation. The interplay took place on adaptive fitness landscapes determined by correspondence of genetic and environmental relationships. Human evolution involved important emergences that altered the adaptive landscape: language, writing, organized societies, science, and the internet. These endogenous factors ushered in transformative periods leading to more rapidly evolving emergences. I explore the impact of development of emerging (...)
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  • An Enactive-Developmental Systems Framing of Cognizing Systems.Amanda Corris - 2022 - Biology and Philosophy 37 (4):1-21.
    Organisms live not as discrete entities on which an independent environment acts, but as members of a reproductive lineage in an ongoing series of interactions between that lineage and a dynamic ecological niche. These interactions continuously shape both systems in a reciprocal manner, resulting in the emergence of reliably co-occurring configurations within and between both systems. The enactive approach to cognition describes this relationship as the structural coupling between an organism and its environment; similarly, Developmental Systems Theory emphasizes the reciprocal (...)
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  • Model Organisms in Evo-Devo: Promises and Pitfalls of the Comparative Approach.Alessandro Minelli & Jan Baedke - 2014 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 36 (1):42-59.
    Evolutionary developmental biology is a rapidly growing discipline whose ambition is to address questions that are of relevance to both evolutionary biology and developmental biology. This field has been increasingly progressing as a new and independent comparative science. However, we argue that evo-devo’s comparative approach is challenged by several metaphysical, methodological and socio-disciplinary issues related to the foundation of heuristic functions of model organisms and the possible criteria to be adopted for their selection. In addition, new tools have to be (...)
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  • Macroevolution: Explanation, Interpretation and Evidence.Emanuele Serrelli & Nathalie Gontier (eds.) - 2015 - Springer.
    This book is divided in two parts, the first of which shows how, beyond paleontology and systematics, macroevolutionary theories apply key insights from ecology and biogeography, developmental biology, biophysics, molecular phylogenetics, and even the sociocultural sciences to explain evolution in deep time. In the second part, the phenomenon of macroevolution is examined with the help of real life-history case studies on the evolution of eukaryotic sex, the formation of anatomical form and body-plans, extinction and speciation events of marine invertebrates, hominin (...)
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  • Conceptual Change and Evolutionary Developmental Biology.A. C. Love - 2015 - In Conceptual Change in Biology: Scientific and Philosophical Perspectives on Evolution and Development. Springer. pp. 1-54.
    The 1981 Dahlem conference was a catalyst for contemporary evolutionary developmental biology (Evo-devo). This introductory chapter rehearses some of the details of the history surrounding the original conference and its associated edited volume, explicates the philosophical problem of conceptual change that provided the rationale for a workshop devoted to evaluating the epistemic revisions and transformations that occurred in the interim, explores conceptual change with respect to the concept of evolutionary novelty, and highlights some of the themes and patterns in the (...)
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  • Entangled Life: Organism and Environment in the Biological and Social Sciences.Gillian Barker, Eric Desjardins & Trevor Pearce (eds.) - 2014 - Springer.
    Despite the burgeoning interest in new and more complex accounts of the organism-environment dyad by biologists and philosophers, little attention has been paid in the resulting discussions to the history of these ideas and to their deployment in disciplines outside biology—especially in the social sciences. Even in biology and philosophy, there is a lack of detailed conceptual models of the organism-environment relationship. This volume is designed to fill these lacunae by providing the first multidisciplinary discussion of the topic of organism-environment (...)
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  • Epigenetics: Ambiguities and Implications.Karola Stotz & Paul Griffiths - 2016 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 38 (4).
    Everyone has heard of ‘epigenetics’, but the term means different things to different researchers. Four important contemporary meanings are outlined in this paper. Epigenetics in its various senses has implications for development, heredity, and evolution, and also for medicine. Concerning development, it cements the vision of a reactive genome strongly coupled to its environment. Concerning heredity, both narrowly epigenetic and broader ‘exogenetic’ systems of inheritance play important roles in the construction of phenotypes. A thoroughly epigenetic model of development and evolution (...)
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  • Toward a Population Genetic Framework of Developmental Evolution: The Costs, Limits, and Consequences of Phenotypic Plasticity.Emilie C. Snell-Rood, James David Van Dyken, Tami Cruickshank, Michael J. Wade & Armin P. Moczek - 2010 - Bioessays 32 (1):71-81.
  • A Heuristic Science‐Based Naturalism as a Partner for Theological Reflections on the Natural World.Paolo D'Ambrosio - 2015 - Zygon 50 (4):962-981.
    After a few general observations on scientific activity, the author briefly comments on different versions of naturalism. Subsequently, he suggests that the birth of evolutionary biology and its successive developments may show how the natural world comes to be differently conceived as scientific advancements are accomplished. Then the main thesis is outlined by introducing the principles of a heuristic science-based naturalism not conclusively defining the real and the knowable. From the epistemological perspective, heuristic naturalism is meant to be framed in (...)
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  • Characters as the Units of Evolutionary Change.David Houle - 2001 - In G. P. Wagner (ed.), The Character Concept in Evolutionary Biology. Academic Press. pp. 109--140.
  • Non‐Genomic Transgenerational Inheritance of Disease Risk.Peter D. Gluckman, Mark A. Hanson & Alan S. Beedle - 2007 - Bioessays 29 (2):145-154.
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  • On the Origins of Novelty in Development and Evolution.Armin P. Moczek - 2008 - Bioessays 30 (5):432-447.
  • Under Cover: Causes, Effects and Implications of Hsp90‐Mediated Genetic Capacitance.Todd A. Sangster, Susan Lindquist & Christine Queitsch - 2004 - Bioessays 26 (4):348-362.
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  • External and Internal Control in Plant Development.Beáta Oborny - 2004 - Complexity 9 (3):22-28.
  • The E(NK) Model: Extending the NK Model to Incorporate Gene‐by‐Environment Interactions and Epistasis for Diploid Genomes.Mark Cooper & Dean W. Podlich - 2002 - Complexity 7 (6):31-47.
  • What, If Anything, is an Evolutionary Novelty?Massimo Pigliucci - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (5):887-898.
    The idea of phenotypic novelty appears throughout the evolutionary literature. Novelties have been defined so broadly as to make the term meaningless and so narrowly as to apply only to a limited number of spectacular structures. Here I examine some of the available definitions of phenotypic novelty and argue that the modern synthesis is ill equipped at explaining novelties. I then discuss three frameworks that may help biologists get a better insight of how novelties arise during evolution but warn that (...)
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  • On the Concept of Biological Race and its Applicability to Humans.Massimo Pigliucci & Jonathan Kaplan - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1161-1172.
    Biological research on race has often been seen as motivated by or lending credence to underlying racist attitudes; in part for this reason, recently philosophers and biologists have gone through great pains to essentially deny the existence of biological human races. We argue that human races, in the biological sense of local populations adapted to particular environments, do in fact exist; such races are best understood through the common ecological concept of ecotypes. However, human ecotypic races do not in general (...)
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  • Historical Evidence and Human Adaptations.Jonathan Michael Kaplan - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (S3):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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  • From Genotype to Phenotype: Buffering Mechanisms and the Storage of Genetic Information.Suzanne L. Rutherford - 2000 - Bioessays 22 (12):1095-1105.
  • Biosemiotics and Development: Metaphors and Facts.Guillermo Lorenzo - forthcoming - Biosemiotics:1-19.
    As a field of scientific expertise, semiotics has the interesting property of being a relevant tool for understanding how scientists represent any domain of research, including the semiotic domain itself. This feature is particularly expressive in the case of biology, as it appears to be the case that a certain range of biological phenomena are of a semiotic character. However, it is not consensual the extent to which semiotics pervades biology. This paper deals with this issue for the particular case (...)
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  • Size and Shape: The Developmental Regulation of Static Allometry in Insects.Alexander W. Shingleton, W. Anthony Frankino, Thomas Flatt, H. Frederik Nijhout & Douglas J. Emlen - 2007 - Bioessays 29 (6):536-548.
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  • Reciprocal Causation and the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis.Andrew Buskell - 2019 - Biological Theory 14 (4):267-279.
    Kevin Laland and colleagues have put forward a number of arguments motivating an extended evolutionary synthesis. Here I examine Laland et al.'s central concept of reciprocal causation. Reciprocal causation features in many arguments supporting an expanded evolutionary framework, yet few of these arguments are clearly delineated. Here I clarify the concept and make explicit three arguments in which it features. I identify where skeptics can—and are—pushing back against these arguments, and highlight what I see as the empirical, explanatory, and methodological (...)
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  • Niche Inheritance: A Possible Basis for Classifying Multiple Inheritance Systems in Evolution.John Odling-Smee - 2007 - Biological Theory 2 (3):276-289.
    The theory of niche construction adds a second general inheritance system, ecological inheritance, to evolution . Ecological inheritance is the inheritance, via an external environment, of one or more natural selection pressures previously modified by niche-constructing organisms. This addition means descendant organisms inherit genes, and biotically transformed selection pressures in their environments, from their ancestors. The combined inheritance is called niche inheritance. Niche inheritance is used as a basis for classifying the multiple genetic and non-genetic, inheritance systems currently being proposed (...)
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  • The Evolution of Complexity.Mark Bedau - 2009 - In Anouk Barberousse, M. Morange & T. Pradeau (eds.), Mapping the Future of Biology. Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, vol 266. Dordrecht: Springer.
  • Biohumanities: Rethinking the Relationship Between Biosciences, Philosophy and History of Science, and Society.Karola Stotz & Paul E. Griffiths - 2007 - Quarterly Review of Biology 83 (1):37--45.
    We argue that philosophical and historical research can constitute a ‘Biohumanities’ which deepens our understanding of biology itself; engages in constructive 'science criticism'; helps formulate new 'visions of biology'; and facilitates 'critical science communication'. We illustrate these ideas with two recent 'experimental philosophy' studies of the concept of the gene and of the concept of innateness conducted by ourselves and collaborators.
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  • Evo-Devo as a Trading Zone.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2015 - In Alan Love (ed.), Conceptual Change in Biology: Scientific and Philosophical Perspectives on Evolution and Development. Springer Verlag, Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science.
    Evo-Devo exhibits a plurality of scientific “cultures” of practice and theory. When are the cultures acting—individually or collectively—in ways that actually move research forward, empirically, theoretically, and ethically? When do they become imperialistic, in the sense of excluding and subordinating other cultures? This chapter identifies six cultures – three /styles/ (mathematical modeling, mechanism, and history) and three /paradigms/ (adaptationism, structuralism, and cladism). The key assumptions standing behind, under, or within each of these cultures are explored. Characterizing the internal structure of (...)
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  • Review Article – a System for Analysing Features in Studies Integrating Ecology, Development, and Evolution.J. R. Stone & B. K. Hall - 2006 - Biology and Philosophy 21 (1):25-40.
    Ecology is being introduced to Evolutionary Developmental Biology to enhance organism-, population-, species-, and higher-taxon-level studies. This exciting, bourgeoning troika will revolutionise how investigators consider relationships among environment, ontogeny, and phylogeny. Features are studied (and even defined) differently in ecology, development, and evolution. Form is central to development and evolution but peripheral to ecology. Congruence (i.e., homology) is applied at different hierarchical levels in the three disciplines. Function is central to ecology but peripheral to development. Herein, the supercategories form (‘isomorphic’ (...)
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  • How Biology Became Social and What It Means for Social Theory.Maurizio Meloni - 2014 - The Sociological Review 62:593-614.
    In this paper I first offer a systematic outline of a series of conceptual novelties in the life-sciences that have favoured, over the last three decades, the emergence of a more social view of biology. I focus in particular on three areas of investigation: (1) technical changes in evolutionary literature that have provoked a rethinking of the possibility of altruism, morality and prosocial behaviours in evolution; (2) changes in neuroscience, from an understanding of the brain as an isolated data processor (...)
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  • Plio-Pleistocene Hominids: Epistemological and Taxonomic Problems.Jolanta Koszteyn - 1970 - Forum Philosophicum: International Journal for Philosophy 9 (1):169-202.
    Within the historical times, which roughly corresponds with the Holocene epoch, the whole of mankind is believed to be a single species. Homo sapiens. But the human genealogical tree is populated by a really astounding number of paleontological species and paleontological genera: Ardipithecus ramidus, Australopithecus anamensis, Australopithecus afarensis, Australopithecus africanus, Paranthropus robustus, Paranthropus boisei, Homo habilis, Homo georgicus. Homo erectus, Homo ergaster, Homo antecessor, Homo heidelbergensis, Homo neanderthalensis, Homo sapiens.. In fact there are many more but Foley, quite reasonably, states (...)
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  • Niche Construction: A Pervasive Force in Evolution?Wim J. van der Steen - 2000 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (1):162-163.
    Industrial melanism, according to the traditional explanation, amounts to niche construction since it involves changes in predation pressure. Indeed, it would be difficult to imagine selection without niche construction. This cannot be what Laland, Odling-Smee & Feldman mean. They offer convincing examples, but they should provide a better definition of “niche construction” to indicate how their view supplements traditional evolutionary biology.
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  • Kin Selection: A Philosophical Analysis.Jonathan Birch - 2013 - Dissertation, University of Cambridge
    This PhD dissertation examines the conceptual and theoretical foundations of the most general and most widely used framework for understanding social evolution, W. D. Hamilton's theory of kin selection. While the core idea is intuitive enough (when organisms share genes, they sometimes have an evolutionary incentive to help one another), its apparent simplicity masks a host of conceptual subtleties, and the theory has proved a perennial source of controversy in evolutionary biology. To move towards a resolution of these controversies, we (...)
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  • Language Impairment and Colour Categories.Jules Davidoff & Claudio Luzzatti - 2005 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (4):494-495.
    Goldstein reported multiple cases of failure to categorise colours in patients that he termed amnesic or anomic aphasics. These patients have a particular difficulty in producing perceptual categories in the absence of other aphasic impairments. We hold that neuropsychological evidence supports the view that the task of colour categorisation is logically impossible without labels.
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  • Do We Need an Extended Evolutionary Synthesis?Massimo Pigliucci - 2007 - Evolution 61 (12):2743-2749.
    The Modern Synthesis (MS) is the current paradigm in evolutionary biology. It was actually built by expanding on the conceptual foundations laid out by its predecessors, Darwinism and neo-Darwinism. For sometime now there has been talk of a new Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (EES), and this article begins to outline why we may need such an extension, and how it may come about. As philosopher Karl Popper has noticed, the current evolutionary theory is a theory of genes, and we still lack (...)
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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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  • Are Plants Rational?Elias L. Khalil - 2010 - Biological Theory 5 (1):53-66.
    Organisms change their shape and behavior during ontogenesis in response to incentives—what biologists call “phenotypic plasticity” or what is called here more specifically “behavioral plasticity.” Such plasticity is usually in the direction of enhancing welfare or fitness. In light of basic concepts in economics, such behavioral plasticity is nothing but rationality. Such rationality is not limited to organisms with neural systems. It also characterizes brainless organisms such as plants, fungi, and unicellular organisms. The gist of the article is the distinction (...)
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  • Taking Development Seriously: Who, What, When, Where, Why, How? [REVIEW]Alan C. Love - 2006 - Biology and Philosophy 21 (4):575-589.
  • Coordinating Perceptually Grounded Categories Through Language: A Case Study for Colour.Luc Steels & Tony Belpaeme - 2005 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (4):469-489.
    This article proposes a number of models to examine through which mechanisms a population of autonomous agents could arrive at a repertoire of perceptually grounded categories that is sufficiently shared to allow successful communication. The models are inspired by the main approaches to human categorisation being discussed in the literature: nativism, empiricism, and culturalism. Colour is taken as a case study. Although we take no stance on which position is to be accepted as final truth with respect to human categorisation (...)
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  • Emotions in the Wild: The Situated Perspective on Emotion.Paul Edmund Griffiths & Andrea Scarantino - 2005 - In P. Robbins & Murat Aydede (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Situated Cognition. Cambridge University Press.
    This chapter describes a perspective on emotion, according to which emotions are: 1. Designed to function in a social context: an emotion is often an act of relationship reconfiguration brought about by delivering a social signal; 2. Forms of skillful engagement with the world which need not be mediated by conceptual thought; 3. Scaffolded by the environment, both synchronically in the unfolding of a particular emotional performance and diachronically, in the acquisition of an emotional repertoire; 4. Dynamically coupled to an (...)
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  • Genetic Assimilation and a Possible Evolutionary Paradox: Can Macroevolution Sometimes Be so Fast to Pass Us By?Massimo Pigliucci - 2003 - Evolution 57 (7):1455-1464.
    The idea of genetic assimilation, that environmentally induced phenotypes may become genetically fixed and no longer require the original environmental stimulus, has had varied success through time in evolutionary biology research. Proposed by Waddington in the 1940s, it became an area of active empirical research mostly thanks to the efforts of its inventor and his collaborators. It was then attacked as of minor importance during the ‘‘hardening’’ of the neo-Darwinian synthesis and was relegated to a secondary role for decades. Recently, (...)
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  • Primates, Philosophers and the Biological Basis of Morality: A Review of Primates and Philosophers by Frans de Waal, Princeton University Press, 2006, 200 Pp. [REVIEW]Massimo Pigliucci - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (4):611-618.
    Philosophical inquiries into morality are as old as philosophy, but it may turn out that morality itself is much, much older than that. At least, that is the main thesis of prima- tologist Frans De Waal, who in this short book based on his Tanner Lectures at Princeton, elaborates on what biologists have been hinting at since Darwin’s (1871) book The Descent of Man and Hamilton’s (1963) studies on the evolution of altruism: morality is yet another allegedly human characteristic that (...)
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  • Environmental Complexity and the Evolution of Cognition.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2002 - In Robert J. Sternberg & J. Kaufman (eds.), The Evolution of Intelligence. Lawrence Erlbaum. pp. 233--249.
    One problem faced in discussions of the evolution of intelligence is the need to get a precise fix on what is to be explained. Terms like "intelligence," "cognition" and "mind" do not have simple and agreed-upon meanings, and the differences between conceptions of intelligence have consequences for evolutionary explanation. I hope the papers in this volume will enable us to make progress on this problem. The present contribution is mostly focused on these basic and foundational issues, although the last section (...)
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  • Typology and Natural Kinds in Evo-Devo.Ingo Brigandt - 2021 - In Laura Nuño De La Rosa & Gerd Müller (eds.), Evolutionary Developmental Biology: A Reference Guide. Cham: Springer. pp. 483-493.
    The traditional practice of establishing morphological types and investigating morphological organization has found new support from evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo), especially with respect to the notion of body plans. Despite recurring claims that typology is at odds with evolutionary thinking, evo-devo offers mechanistic explanations of the evolutionary origin, transformation, and evolvability of morphological organization. In parallel, philosophers have developed non-essentialist conceptions of natural kinds that permit kinds to exhibit variation and undergo change. This not only facilitates a construal of species (...)
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  • Natural Selection, Plasticity, and the Rationale for Largest-Scale Trends.Hugh Desmond - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 68:25-33.
    Many have argued that there is no reason why natural selection should cause directional increases in measures such as body size or complexity across evolutionary history as a whole. In this paper I argue that this conclusion does not hold for selection for adaptations to environmental variability, and that, given the inevitability of environmental variability, trends in adaptations to variability are an expected feature of evolution by natural selection. As a concrete instance of this causal structure, I outline how this (...)
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  • Local Interaction, Multilevel Selection, and Evolutionary Transitions.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2006 - Biological Theory 1 (4):372-380.
    Group-structured and neighbor-structured populations are compared, especially in relation to multilevel selection theory and evolutionary transitions. I argue that purely neighborstructured populations, which can feature the evolution of altruism, are not properly described in multilevel terms. The ability to “gestalt switch” between individualist and multilevel frameworks is then linked to the investigation of “major transitions” in evolution. Some explanatory concepts are naturally linked to one framework or the other, but a full understanding is best achieved via the use of both.
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  • Environment and Genetic Accommodation.H. Frederik Nijhout & Yuichiro Suzuki - 2008 - Biological Theory 3 (3):204-212.
    Waddington’s experiments on genetic assimilation showed that selection on environmentally induced phenotypic variants can cause inherited evolutionary changes in the phenotype. We have recently extended this work by demonstrating that it is possible to select for a polyphenism in a monophenic species . We found that a mutation in the juvenile hormone regulatory pathway in Manduca sexta enabled heat stress to reveal a hidden reaction norm of larval coloration. Artificial selection for increased color change in response to heat-shock resulted in (...)
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  • Introduction.Sahotra Sarkar & Jason Scott Robert - 2003 - Biology and Philosophy 18 (2):209-217.
  • Extending Epigenesis: From Phenotypic Plasticity to the Bio-Cultural Feedback.Paolo D’Ambrosio & Ivan Colagè - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (5):705-728.
    The paper aims at proposing an extended notion of epigenesis acknowledging an actual causal import to the phenotypic dimension for the evolutionary diversification of life forms. “Introductory remarks” section offers introductory remarks on the issue of epigenesis contrasting it with ancient and modern preformationist views. In “Transmutation of forms: phenotypic variation, diversification, and complexification” section we propose to intend epigenesis as a process of phenotypic formation and diversification dependent on environmental influences, independent of changes in the genomic nucleotide sequence, and (...)
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  • Psychological Altruism Vs. Biological Altruism: Narrowing the Gap with the Baldwin Effect.Mahesh Ananth - 2005 - Acta Biotheoretica 53 (3):217-239.
    This paper defends the position that the supposed gap between biological altruism and psychological altruism is not nearly as wide as some scholars (e.g., Elliott Sober) insist. Crucial to this defense is the use of James Mark Baldwin's concepts of “organic selection”and “social heredity” to assist in revealing that the gap between biological and psychological altruism is more of a small lacuna. Specifically, this paper argues that ontogenetic behavioral adjustments, which are crucial to individual survival and reproduction, are also crucial (...)
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  • The Active Role of Behaviour in Evolution.Patrick Bateson - 2004 - Biology and Philosophy 19 (2):283-298.
  • Finding the Way in Phenotypic Space: The Origin and Maintenance of Constraints on Organismal Form.Massimo Pigliucci - 2007 - Annals of Botany 100:433-438.
    Background: One of the all-time questions in evolutionary biology regards the evolution of organismal shapes, and in particular why certain forms appear repeatedly in the history of life, others only seldom and still others not at all. Recent research in this field has deployed the conceptual framework of constraints and natural selection as measured by quantitative genetic methods. Scope: In this paper I argue that quantitative genetics can by necessity only provide us with useful statistical sum- maries that may lead (...)
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