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  1. The Evidence for the Accelerating Universe: Endorsement and Robust Consistency.Genco Guralp - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (2):1-52.
    The 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to researchers from the Supernova Cosmology Project and the High-z Supernova Search Team for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe. In this paper, I provide a historical analysis of the supernova cosmology evidence put forward by these teams for the accelerating universe, in terms of an iterative model of scientific progress developed by Hasok Chang in the context of his study of the development of measurement standards. I argue, using (...)
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  • Synthetic Biology and the Search for Alternative Genetic Systems: Taking How-Possibly Models Seriously.Koskinen Rami - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (3):493-506.
    Many scientific models in biology are how-possibly models. These models depict things as they could be, but do not necessarily capture actual states of affairs in the biological world. In contemporary philosophy of science, it is customary to treat how-possibly models as second-rate theoretical tools. Although possibly important in the early stages of theorizing, they do not constitute the main aim of modelling, namely, to discover the actual mechanism responsible for the phenomenon under study. In the paper it is argued (...)
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  • Reclaiming Naturalized Critical Realism: Response to McWherter.Tuukka Kaidesoja - 2017 - Journal of Critical Realism 16 (2):200-222.
    ABSTRACTThis article responds to McWherter’s detailed critique of my assessment of Roy Bhaskar’s method of transcendental argumentation in chapter four of my Naturalizing Critical Realist Social Ontology. I begin by describing some naturalist ontological and epistemological views defended in my book, thereby showing that my naturalist challenge to the original version of critical realism is not only methodological but also substantial. I also indicate that this point is effectively downplayed in McWherter’s framing of the debate in terms of competing metaphilosophies. (...)
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  • The Epistemological Virtues of Assumptions: Towards a Coming of Age of Boltzmann and Meinong’s Objections to ‘the Prejudice in Favour of the Actual’?Nadine de Courtenay - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (1):41-57.
    Two complementary debates of the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth century are examined here: the debate on the legitimacy of hypotheses in the natural sciences and the debate on intentionality and ‘representations without object’ in philosophy. Both are shown to rest on two core issues: the attitude of the subject and the mode of presentation chosen to display a domain of phenomena. An orientation other than the one which contributed to shape twentieth-century philosophy of science is explored through the (...)
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  • Comment on Naturalizing Critical Realist Social Ontology.Petri Ylikoski - 2015 - Journal of Social Ontology 1 (2):333-340.
    This comment discusses Kaidesoja and raises the issue whether his analysis justifies stronger conclusions than he presents in the book. My comments focus on four issues. First, I argue that his naturalistic reconstruction of critical realist transcendental arguments shows that transcendental arguments should be treated as a rare curiosity rather than a general argumentative strategy. Second, I suggest that Kaidesoja’s analysis does not really justify his optimism about the usefulness of causal powers ontology in the social sciences. Third, I raise (...)
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  • Empire’s New Clothes: After the “Peaceful Violence” of Neoliberal Coloniality.James Trafford - 2019 - Angelaki 24 (1):37-54.
    This article considers neoliberalism through the “peaceful violence” of its social spaces that are stratified and ordered around raciality whilst abjuring the explicit presence of racialised power. Many dominant analyses of neoliberalism in the social science have figured racial injustices as ideological fossils to be swept away by a fundamentally neutral political economy that has shaped all human activity according to market principles. As such, racial injustices are understood as material deviations from conditions of economic power on the one hand, (...)
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  • Causing Global Warming.Mattias Gunnemyr - 2019 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (2):399-424.
    Do I cause global warming, climate change and their related harms when I go for a leisure drive with my gas-guzzling car? The current verdict seems to be that I do not; the emissions produced by my drive are much too insignificant to make a difference for the occurrence of global warming and its related harms. I argue that our verdict on this issue depends on what we mean by ‘causation’. If we for instance assume a simple counterfactual analysis of (...)
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  • Towards a theory of emergence for the physical sciences.Sebastian De Haro - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (3):1-52.
    I begin to develop a framework for emergence in the physical sciences. Namely, I propose to explicate ontological emergence in terms of the notion of ‘novel reference’, and of an account of interpretation as a map from theory to world. I then construe ontological emergence as the “failure of the interpretation to mesh” with an appropriate linkage map between theories. Ontological emergence can obtain between theories that have the same extension but different intensions, and between theories that have both different (...)
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  • Complexity and integration. A philosophical analysis of how cancer complexity can be faced in the era of precision medicine.Giovanni Boniolo & Raffaella Campaner - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (3):1-25.
    Complexity and integration are longstanding widely debated issues in philosophy of science and recent contributions have largely focused on biology and biomedicine. This paper specifically considers some methodological novelties in cancer research, motivated by various features of tumours as complex diseases, and shows how they encourage some rethinking of philosophical discourses on those topics. In particular, we discuss the integrative-cluster approach, and analyse its potential in the epistemology of cancer. We suggest that, far from being the solution to tame cancer (...)
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  • What Distinguishes Data From Models?Sabina Leonelli - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (2):22.
    I propose a framework that explicates and distinguishes the epistemic roles of data and models within empirical inquiry through consideration of their use in scientific practice. After arguing that Suppes’ characterization of data models falls short in this respect, I discuss a case of data processing within exploratory research in plant phenotyping and use it to highlight the difference between practices aimed to make data usable as evidence and practices aimed to use data to represent a specific phenomenon. I then (...)
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  • Time for a Change: Topical Amendments to the Medical Model of Disease.Isabella Sarto-Jackson - 2018 - Biological Theory 13 (1):29-38.
    There is a conceptual crisis in the biomedical sciences that is particularly salient in psychopathology research. Underlying the crisis is a controversy that pertains to the current medical model of disease that largely draws from causal-mechanistic explanations. The bedrock of this model is the analysis of biological part-dysfunctions that aims at unequivocally defining a pathological condition and demarcating it from its neighboring entities. This endeavor has led to a quest for physiological, biochemical, and genetic signatures. Yet, so far there is (...)
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  • Interventionism for the Intentional Stance: True Believers and Their Brains.Markus I. Eronen - 2020 - Topoi 39 (1):45-55.
    The relationship between psychological states and the brain remains an unresolved issue in philosophy of psychology. One appealing solution that has been influential both in science and in philosophy is Dennett’s concept of the intentional stance, according to which beliefs and desires are real and objective phenomena, but not necessarily states of the brain. A fundamental shortcoming of this approach is that it does not seem to leave any causal role for beliefs and desires in influencing behavior. In this paper, (...)
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  • Addiction-as-a-Kind Hypothesis.Petri Ylikoski & Samuli Pöyhönen - 2015 - International Journal of Addiction and Drug Research 4 (1):21-25.
    The psychiatric category of addiction has recently been broadened to include new behaviors. This has prompted critical discussion about the value of a concept that covers so many different substances and activities. Many of the debates surrounding the notion of addiction stem from different views concerning what kind of a thing addiction fundamentally is. In this essay, we put forward an account that conceptualizes different addictions as sharing a cluster of relevant properties (the syndrome) that is supported by a matrix (...)
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  • Smaller Than a Breadbox: Scale and Natural Kinds.Julia R. Bursten - 2018 - British Journal for Philosophy of Science 69 (1):1-23.
    ABSTRACT I propose a division of the literature on natural kinds into metaphysical worries, semantic worries, and methodological worries. I argue that the latter set of worries, which concern how classification influences scientific practices, should occupy centre stage in philosophy of science discussions about natural kinds. I apply this methodological framework to the problems of classifying chemical species and nanomaterials. I show that classification in nanoscience differs from classification in chemistry because the latter relies heavily on compositional identity, whereas the (...)
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  • The Sum of the Parts: Large-Scale Modeling in Systems Biology.Fridolin Gross & Sara Green - 2017 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 9 (10).
    Systems biologists often distance themselves from reductionist approaches and formulate their aim as understanding living systems “as a whole.” Yet, it is often unclear what kind of reductionism they have in mind, and in what sense their methodologies would offer a superior approach. To address these questions, we distinguish between two types of reductionism which we call “modular reductionism” and “bottom-up reductionism.” Much knowledge in molecular biology has been gained by decomposing living systems into functional modules or through detailed studies (...)
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  • Modeling complexity: cognitive constraints and computational model-building in integrative systems biology.Miles MacLeod & Nancy J. Nersessian - 2018 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 40 (1):17.
    Modern integrative systems biology defines itself by the complexity of the problems it takes on through computational modeling and simulation. However in integrative systems biology computers do not solve problems alone. Problem solving depends as ever on human cognitive resources. Current philosophical accounts hint at their importance, but it remains to be understood what roles human cognition plays in computational modeling. In this paper we focus on practices through which modelers in systems biology use computational simulation and other tools to (...)
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  • Realization in Biology?Sergio Balari & Guillermo Lorenzo - 2019 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 41 (1):5.
    It is widely assumed that functional and dispositional properties are not identical to their physical base, but that there is some kind of asymmetrical ontological dependence between them. In this regard, a popular idea is that the former are realized by the latter, which, under the non-identity assumption, is generally understood to be a non-causal, constitutive relation. In this paper we examine two of the most widely accepted approaches to realization, the so-called ‘flat view’ and the ‘dimensioned view’, and we (...)
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  • Simplicity, one-shot hypotheses and paleobiological explanation.Adrian Currie - 2019 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 41 (1):10.
    Paleobiologists often provide simple narratives to explain complex, contingent episodes. These narratives are sometimes ‘one-shot hypotheses’ which are treated as being mutually exclusive with other possible explanations of the target episode, and are thus extended to accommodate as much about the episode as possible. I argue that a provisional preference for such hypotheses provides two kinds of productive scaffolding. First, they generate ‘hypothetical difference-makers’: one-shot hypotheses highlight and isolate empirically tractable dependencies between variables. Second, investigations of hypothetical difference-makers provision explanatory (...)
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  • From parts to mechanisms: research heuristics for addressing heterogeneity in cancer genetics.William Bechtel - 2019 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 41 (3):27.
    A major approach to cancer research in the late twentieth century was to search for genes that, when altered, initiated the development of a cell into a cancerous state or failed to stop this development. But as researchers acquired the capacity to sequence tumors and incorporated the resulting data into databases, it became apparent that for many tumors no genes were frequently altered and that the genes altered in different tumors in the same tissue type were often distinct. To address (...)
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  • Taxa hold little information about organisms: Some inferential problems in biological systematics.Thomas A. C. Reydon - 2019 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 41 (4):40.
    The taxa that appear in biological classifications are commonly seen as representing information about the traits of their member organisms. This paper examines in what way taxa feature in the storage and retrieval of such information. I will argue that taxa do not actually store much information about the traits of their member organisms. Rather, I want to suggest, taxa should be understood as functioning to localize organisms in the genealogical network of life on Earth. Taxa store information about where (...)
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  • The Relationship Between Psychological Capacities and Neurobiological Activities.Gregory Johnson - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (3):453-480.
    This paper addresses the relationship between psychological capacities, as they are understood within cognitive psychology, and neurobiological activities. First, Lycan’s (1987) account of this relationship is examined and certain problems with his account are explained. According to Lycan, psychological capacities occupy a higher level than neurobiological activities in a hierarchy of levels of nature, and psychological entities can be decomposed into neurobiological entities. After discussing some problems with Lycan’s account, a similar, more recent account built around levels of mechanisms is (...)
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  • Multiple Realizability as a Design Heuristic in Biological Engineering.Rami Koskinen - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (1):15.
    Recently, several critics of the multiple realizability thesis have argued that philosophers have tended to accept the thesis on too weak grounds. On the one hand, the analytic challenge has problematized how philosophers have treated the multiple realization relation itself, claiming that assessment of the sameness of function and the relevant difference of realizers has been uncritical. On the other hand, it is argued that the purported evidence of the thesis is often left empirically unverified. This paper provides a novel (...)
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  • Bill Wimsatt on Multiple Ways of Getting at the Complexity of Nature.William Bechtel, Werner Callebaut, James R. Griesemer & Jeffrey C. Schank - 2006 - Biological Theory 1 (2):213-219.
  • Reengineering the Darwinian Sciences in Social Context.William C. Wimsatt - 2006 - Biological Theory 1 (4):338.
  • Herbert Simon’s Silent Revolution.Werner Callebaut - 2007 - Biological Theory 2 (1):76-86.
    Simon’s bounded rationality , the first scientific research program to seriously take the cognitive limitations of decision makers into account, has often been conflated with his more restricted concept of satisficing—choosing an alternative that meets or exceeds specified criteria, but that is not guaranteed to be unique or in any sense “the best.” Proponents of optimization often dismiss bounded rationality out of hand with the following “hallway syllogism” : bounded rationality “boils down to” satisficing; satisficing is “simply” a theory of (...)
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  • Object Spaces: An Organizing Strategy for Biological Theorizing.Beckett Sterner - 2009 - Biological Theory 4 (3):280-286.
    A classic analytic approach to biological phenomena seeks to refine definitions until classes are sufficiently homogenous to support prediction and explanation, but this approach founders on cases where a single process produces objects with similar forms but heterogeneous behaviors. I introduce object spaces as a tool to tackle this challenging diversity of biological objects in terms of causal processes with well-defined formal properties. Object spaces have three primary components: (1) a combinatorial biological process such as protein synthesis that generates objects (...)
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  • Making Knowledge in Synthetic Biology: Design Meets Kludge.Maureen A. O’Malley - 2009 - Biological Theory 4 (4):378-389.
    Synthetic biology is an umbrella term that covers a range of aims, approaches, and techniques. They are all brought together by common practices of analogizing, synthesizing, mechanicizing, and kludging. With a focus on kludging as the connection point between biology, engineering, and evolution, I show how synthetic biology’s successes depend on custom-built kludges and a creative, “make-it-work” attitude to the construction of biological systems. Such practices do not fit neatly, however, into synthetic biology’s celebration of rational design. Nor do they (...)
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  • Rescuing the Assertability of Measurement Reports.Michael J. Shaffer - 2019 - Acta Analytica 34 (1):39-51.
    It is wholly uncontroversial that measurements-or, more properly, propositions that are measurement reports-are often paradigmatically good cases of propositions that serve the function of evidence. In normal cases it is also obvious that stating such a report is an utterly pedestrian case of successful assertion. So, for example, there is nothing controversial about the following claims: (1) that a proposition to the effect that a particular thermometer reads 104C when properly used to determine the temperature of a particular patient is (...)
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  • Robust Realism for the Life Sciences.Markus I. Eronen - 2019 - Synthese 196 (6):2341-2354.
    Although scientific realism is the default position in the life sciences, philosophical accounts of realism are geared towards physics and run into trouble when applied to fields such as biology or neuroscience. In this paper, I formulate a new robustness-based version of entity realism, and show that it provides a plausible account of realism for the life sciences that is also continuous with scientific practice. It is based on the idea that if there are several independent ways of measuring, detecting (...)
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  • There is Nothing It is Like to See Red: Holism and Subjective Experience.Anthony F. Peressini - 2018 - Synthese 195 (10):4637-4666.
    The Nagel inspired “something-it-is-like” conception of conscious experience remains a dominant approach in philosophy. In this paper I criticize a prevalent philosophical construal of SIL consciousness, one that understands SIL as a property of mental states rather than entities as a whole. I argue against thinking of SIL as a property of states, showing how such a view is in fact prevalent, under-warranted, and philosophically pernicious in that it often leads to an implausible reduction of conscious experience to qualia. I (...)
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  • Simulation, Epistemic Opacity, and ‘Envirotechnical Ignorance’ in Nuclear Crisis.Tudor B. Ionescu - 2019 - Minds and Machines 29 (1):61-86.
    The Fukushima nuclear accident from 2011 provided an occasion for the public display of radiation maps generated using decision-support systems for nuclear emergency management. Such systems rely on computer models for simulating the atmospheric dispersion of radioactive materials and estimating potential doses in the event of a radioactive release from a nuclear reactor. In Germany, as in Japan, such systems are part of the national emergency response apparatus and, in case of accidents, they can be used by emergency task forces (...)
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  • Beware of Mereologists Bearing Gifts: Prolegomena to a Medical Metaphysics.George Khushf - 2013 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 34 (5):385-408.
    This essay considers implications of formal mereologies and ontologies for medical metaphysics. Edward Fried’s extensional mereological account of the human body is taken as representative of a prominent strand in analytic metaphysics that has close affinities with medical positivism. I show why such accounts fail. First, I consider how Fried attempts to make sense of the medical case of Barney Clark, the first recipient of an artificial heart, and show that his analytic metaphysical categories do not have the right kind (...)
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  • The Rumors of Bergson’s Demise May Have Been Exaggerated: Novelty, Complexity, and Emergence in Biological Evolution.Steven L. Peck - 2019 - Foundations of Science 24 (3):541-557.
    Early 20th century philosopher Henri Bergson posited an initial push that propelled the diversity of life forward into a varied, novel future: The élan vital, a necessary force or impulse that animated life’s progress and development. His idea had largely been abandoned by mid-century. Even so, much of the conceptual and explanatory work this impulse targeted is yet in want of an explanation. In particular, Bergson’s derelict ideas on evolution addressed three areas that have once again become relevant in the (...)
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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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  • Big Dragons on Small Islands: Generality and Particularity in Science: Review of Angela Potochnik’s Idealization and the Aims of Science.Adrian Currie - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (3-4):20.
    Angela Potochnik’s Idealization and the Aims of Science defends an ambitious and systematic account of scientific knowledge: ultimately science pursues human understanding rather than truth. Potochnik argues that idealization is rampant and unchecked in science. Further, given that idealizations involve departures from truth, this suggests science is not primarily about truth. I explore the relationship between truths about causal patterns and scientific understanding in light of this, and suggest that Potochnik underestimates the importance and power of highly particular narrative explanations.
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  • On Mycorrhizal Individuality.Daniel J. Molter - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (5):1-16.
    This paper argues that a plant together with the symbiotic fungus attached to its roots, a mycorrhizal collective, is an evolutionary individual, and further, that mycorrhizal individuality has important implications for evolutionary theory. Theoretical individuation is defended and then employed to show that mycorrhizal collectives function as interactors according to David Hull’s replicator-interactor model of evolution by natural selection, and because they have the potential to engage in pseudo-vertical transmission, mycorrhizal collectives also function as Darwinian individuals, according to Peter Godfrey-Smith’s (...)
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  • Beyond Networks: Mechanism and Process in Evo-Devo.James DiFrisco & Johannes Jaeger - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (6):54.
    Explanation in terms of gene regulatory networks has become standard practice in evolutionary developmental biology. In this paper, we argue that GRNs fail to provide a robust, mechanistic, and dynamic understanding of the developmental processes underlying the genotype–phenotype map. Explanations based on GRNs are limited by three main problems: the problem of genetic determinism, the problem of correspondence between network structure and function, and the problem of diachronicity, as in the unfolding of causal interactions over time. Overcoming these problems requires (...)
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  • In What Sense Does ‘Nothing Make Sense Except in the Light of Evolution’?Paul Edmund Griffiths - 2009 - Acta Biotheoretica 57 (1-2):11-32.
    Dobzhansky argued that biology only makes sense if life on earth has a shared history. But his dictum is often reinterpreted to mean that biology only makes sense in the light of adaptation. Some philosophers of science have argued in this spirit that all work in ‘proximal’ biosciences such as anatomy, physiology and molecular biology must be framed, at least implicitly, by the selection histories of the organisms under study. Others have denied this and have proposed non-evolutionary ways in which (...)
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  • The Softening of the Modern Synthesis: Julian Huxley: Evolution: The Modern Synthesis; The Definitive Edition. Massimo Pigliucci and Gerd B. Müller : Evolution—The Extended Synthesis.Joeri Witteveen - 2011 - Acta Biotheoretica 59 (3):333-345.
    The Modern Synthesis has been receiving bad press for some time now. Back in 1983, in an article entitled “The Hardening of the Modern Synthesis” Stephen Jay Gould criticized the way the Modern Synthesis had developed since its inception in the 1930s and early 1940s (Gould 1983). Back then, those who would later become known as ‘architects’ of the synthesis were united in their call for explaining evolution at all levels in terms of causation at one level: genetics. What drove (...)
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  • A Philosophical Evaluation of Adaptationism as a Heuristic Strategy.Sara Green - 2014 - Acta Biotheoretica 62 (4):479-498.
    Adaptationism has for decades been the topic of sophisticated debates in philosophy of biology but methodological adaptationism has not received as much attention as the empirical and explanatory issues. In addition, adaptationism has mainly been discussed in the context of evolutionary biology and not in fields such as zoophysiology and systems biology where this heuristic is also used in design analyses of physiological traits and molecular structures. This paper draws on case studies from these fields to discuss the productive and (...)
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  • Self-, Social-, or Neural-Determination?Lawrence Cahoone - 2019 - Philosophical Investigations 13 (28):95-108.
    Human “free will” has been made problematic by several recent arguments against mental causation, the unity of the I or “self,” and the possibility that conscious decision-making could be temporally prior to action. This paper suggests a pathway through this thicket for free will or self-determination. Doing so requires an account of mind as an emergent process in the context of animal psychology and mental causation. Consciousness, a palpable but theoretically more obscure property of some minds, is likely to derive (...)
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  • Reshaping Social Theory From Complexity and Ecological Perspectives.John Smith & Chris Jenks - 2013 - Thesis Eleven 114 (1):61-75.
    This article argues that Durkheim’s founding insight – uniquely social phenomena – presents us with both a foundation for the discipline of sociology and the risk that the discipline will become isolated. This, we argue, has happened. Our contention is that the emergent social phenomena need to be understood in relation to, but not reduced to, their biological and psychological substrates. Similarly, there are a number of other characteristics, notably of self-organization, which are distinguishing properties of social phenomena but also (...)
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  • 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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  • Idealization and Abstraction in Models of Injustice.Leif Hancox‐Li - 2017 - Hypatia 32 (2):329-346.
    Charles Mills has argued against ideal theory in political philosophy on the basis that it contains idealizations. He calls for political philosophers to do more nonideal theory, namely political theory that pays more attention to the most visible oppressions in society, such as those based on race, gender, and class. Mills's argument relies on a distinction between idealization and abstraction. Idealizations involve adding false assumptions to one's model, which is unacceptable, whereas abstractions merely leave out details without undermining descriptive power. (...)
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  • Social intelligence: How to integrate research? A mechanistic perspective.Marcin Miłkowski - 2019 - AI and Society 34 (4):735-744.
    Is there a field of social intelligence? Many various disciplines approach the subject and it may only seem natural to suppose that different fields of study aim at explaining different phenomena; in other words, there is no special field of study of social intelligence. In this paper, I argue for an opposite claim. Namely, there is a way to integrate research on social intelligence, as long as one accepts the mechanistic account to explanation. Mechanistic integration of different explanations, however, comes (...)
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  • Fitness “Kinematics”: Biological Function, Altruism, and Organism–Environment Development.Marshall Abrams - 2009 - Biology and Philosophy 24 (4):487-504.
    It’s recently been argued that biological fitness can’t change over the course of an organism’s life as a result of organisms’ behaviors. However, some characterizations of biological function and biological altruism tacitly or explicitly assume that an effect of a trait can change an organism’s fitness. In the first part of the paper, I explain that the core idea of changing fitness can be understood in terms of conditional probabilities defined over sequences of events in an organism’s life. The result (...)
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  • Regulatory Evolution and Theoretical Arguments in Evolutionary Biology.Stavros Ioannidis - 2013 - Science & Education 22 (2):279-292.
    The cis-regulatory hypothesis is one of the most important claims of evolutionary developmental biology. In this paper I examine the theoretical argument for cis-regulatory evolution and its role within evolutionary theorizing. I show that, although the argument has some weaknesses, it acts as a useful example for the importance of current scientific debates for science education.
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  • Character Analysis in Cladistics: Abstraction, Reification, and the Search for Objectivity.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2009 - Acta Biotheoretica 57 (1-2):129-162.
    The dangers of character reification for cladistic inference are explored. The identification and analysis of characters always involves theory-laden abstraction—there is no theory-free “view from nowhere.” Given theory-ladenness, and given a real world with actual objects and processes, how can we separate robustly real biological characters from uncritically reified characters? One way to avoid reification is through the employment of objectivity criteria that give us good methods for identifying robust primary homology statements. I identify six such criteria and explore each (...)
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  • The Objectivity of Organizational Functions.Samuel Cusimano & Beckett Sterner - forthcoming - Acta Biotheoretica.
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  • Modeling Reality.Christopher Pincock - 2011 - Synthese 180 (1):19 - 32.
    My aim in this paper is to articulate an account of scientific modeling that reconciles pluralism about modeling with a modest form of scientific realism. The central claim of this approach is that the models of a given physical phenomenon can present different aspects of the phenomenon. This allows us, in certain special circumstances, to be confident that we are capturing genuine features of the world, even when our modeling occurs independently of a wholly theoretical motivation. This framework is illustrated (...)
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