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  1. The Structure of Explanations and Counter-Explanations of Homosexuality.Fabrizzio Mc Manus - 2012 - Open Journal of Philosophy 2 (4):235-243.
    The aim of this paper is to revisit an ongoing controversy within the so called “Science Wars”; more specifically, I will address a particular topic within the “human nature” debate: the ontological and epistemological status of homosexuality. I claim that, in this particular chapter of the “Science Wars”, we are continually left in an explanatory impasse even when more data are collected, more rigorous experimental techniques are developed, more subtle arguments are offered and more pluralistic narratives are told. My diagnosis (...)
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  • Part-Whole Science.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2011 - Synthese 178 (3):397-427.
    A scientific explanatory project, part-whole explanation, and a kind of science, part-whole science are premised on identifying, investigating, and using parts and wholes. In the biological sciences, mechanistic, structuralist, and historical explanations are part-whole explanations. Each expresses different norms, explananda, and aims. Each is associated with a distinct partitioning frame for abstracting kinds of parts. These three explanatory projects can be complemented in order to provide an integrative vision of the whole system, as is shown for a detailed case study: (...)
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  • Validity and Utility in Biological Traits.Sean A. Valles - 2013 - Biological Theory 8 (1):93-102.
    “Trait” is a ubiquitous term in biology, but its precise meaning and theoretical foundations remain opaque. After distinguishing between “trait” and “character,” I argue for the value of adopting Theodosius Dobzhansky’s 1956 definition and framework for understanding “trait,” which holds that traits are just “semantic devices” that artificially impose order on continuous biological phenomena. I elaborate on this definition to distinguish between trait validity (compliance with Dobzhansky’s trait definition) and trait utility (usefulness of a trait). As a consequence of this (...)
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  • Phylogenetic Inference to the Best Explanation and the Bad Lot Argument.Aleta Quinn - 2016 - Synthese 193 (9).
    I respond to the bad lot argument in the context of biological systematics. The response relies on the historical nature of biological systematics and on the availability of pattern explanations. The basic assumption of common descent enables systematic methodology to naturally generate candidate explanatory hypotheses. However, systematists face a related challenge in the issue of character analysis. Character analysis is the central problem for contemporary systematics, yet the general problem of which it is a case—what counts as evidence?—has not been (...)
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