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  1.  3
    The DSM-5 introduction of the Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder as a new mental disorder: a philosophical review.M. Cristina Amoretti, Elisabetta Lalumera & Davide Serpico - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (4):1-31.
    The latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders included the Social Communication Disorder as a new mental disorder characterized by deficits in pragmatic abilities. Although the introduction of SPCD in the psychiatry nosography depended on a variety of reasons—including bridging a nosological gap in the macro-category of Communication Disorders—in the last few years researchers have identified major issues in such revision. For instance, the symptomatology of SPCD is notably close to that of Autism Spectrum Disorder. This (...)
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  2.  6
    Descriptive understanding and prediction in COVID-19 modelling.Johannes Findl & Javier Suárez - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (4):1-31.
    COVID-19 has substantially affected our lives during 2020. Since its beginning, several epidemiological models have been developed to investigate the specific dynamics of the disease. Early COVID-19 epidemiological models were purely statistical, based on a curve-fitting approach, and did not include causal knowledge about the disease. Yet, these models had predictive capacity; thus they were used to ground important political decisions, in virtue of the understanding of the dynamics of the pandemic that they offered. This raises a philosophical question about (...)
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  3. Can Populations Be Healthy? Perspectives From Georges Canguilhem and Geoffrey Rose.Élodie Giroux - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (4):1-23.
    Canguilhem criticized the concept of “public health”: health and disease are concepts that only apply to individuals, taken as organic totalities. Their extension to a different level of organization is purely metaphorical. The importance assumed by epidemiology in the construction of our knowledge of the normal and the pathological does, however, call for reflection on the role and the status of the population level of organization in our approach to health phenomena. The entanglement of the biological and the social in (...)
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  4.  1
    Correction to: “Organismic” positions in early German-speaking ecology and its (almost) forgotten dissidents.Kurt Jax - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (4):1-2.
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  5.  2
    Genuine versus bogus scientific controversies: the case of statins.Carlo Martini & Mattia Andreoletti - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (4):1-23.
    Science progresses through debate and disagreement, and scientific controversies play a crucial role in the growth of scientific knowledge. However, not all controversies and disagreements are progressive in science. Sometimes, controversies can be pseudoscientific; in fact, bogus controversies, and what seem like genuine scientific disagreements, can be a distortion of science set up by non-scientific actors. Bogus controversies are detrimental to science because they can hinder scientific progress and eventually bias science-based decisions. The first goal of this paper is to (...)
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  6.  3
    Covid-19 and Ageing: Four Alternative Conceptual Frameworks.M. Cristina Amoretti & Davide Serpico - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (3):1-4.
    Ageing is one of the main risk factors for Covid-19. In this paper, we delineate four alternative conceptualisations of ageing, each of which determines different understandings of its causal role to the susceptibility to Covid-19 as well as to the severity of its symptoms and adverse health outcomes.
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  7.  6
    Science Communication: Challenges and Dilemmas in the Age of COVID-19.Konstantina Antiochou - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (3):1-4.
    A pandemic of misinformation is said to spread alongside the COVID-19 pandemic. The need to properly inform the public is stronger than ever in the fight against misinformation, but what ‘properly’ means in this context is a quite controversial issue. In what follows, I discuss the challenges we face in communicating COVID-19 health information to the public, with the aim to shed light on some ethical and policy issues emerging in science in times of crises.
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  8.  1
    Rethinking ageing: introduction.Alessandro Blasimme, Giovanni Boniolo & Marco J. Nathan - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (3):1-8.
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  9.  2
    Beyond the Limit: Carrying Capacity (K) and the Holism/Reductionism Debate.Julien Delord - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (3):1-25.
    As the debate about holism and reductionism in ecology has ebbed in the last twenty years, this article aims to reassess the traditional opposition between holistic and reductionist epistemologies during the development of population biology. The history of the notion of carrying capacity, the upper demographic limit of a viable population, will be analyzed as a paradigmatic case of the progressive imposition of reductionist strategies, from both an epistemological and a semantic point of view, since the middle of the twentieth (...)
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  10. A Box, a Trough and Marbles: How the Reed-Frost Epidemic Theory Shaped Epidemiological Reasoning in the 20th Century.Lukas Engelmann - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (3):1-24.
    The article takes the renewed popularity and interest in epidemiological modelling for Covid-19 as a point of departure to ask how modelling has historically shaped epidemiological reasoning. The focus lies on a particular model, developed in the late 1920s through a collaboration of the former field-epidemiologists and medical officer, Wade Hampton Frost, and the biostatistician and population ecologist Lowell Reed. Other than former approaches to epidemic theory in mathematical formula, the Reed-Frost epidemic theory was materialised in a simple mechanical analogue: (...)
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  11.  3
    Bert Theunissen, Beauty or Statistics: Practice and Science in Dutch Livestock Breeding, 1900–2000, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2020. [REVIEW]Tarquin Holmes - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (3):1-4.
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  12.  7
    Metaphors as models: Towards a typology of metaphor in ancient science.Marcel Humar - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (3):1-26.
    Metaphors play a crucial role in the understanding of science. Since antiquity, metaphors have been used in technical texts to describe structures unknown or unnamed; besides establishing a terminology of science, metaphors are also important for the expression of concepts. However, a concise terminology to classify metaphors in the language of science has not been established yet. But in the context of studying the history of a science and its concepts, a precise typology of metaphors can be helpful. Metaphors have (...)
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  13.  2
    Drawing Lessons From the COVID-19 Pandemic: Science and Epistemic Humility Should Go Together.Fulvio Mazzocchi - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (3):1-5.
    During the COVID-19 pandemic, scientific experts advised governments for measures to be promptly taken; they also helped people to understand the situation. They carried out this role in the face of a worldwide emergency, when scientific understanding was still underway. Public scientific disputes also arose, creating confusion among people. This article highlights the importance of experts’ epistemic stance under these circumstances. It suggests they should embrace the intellectual virtue of epistemic humility, regulating their epistemic behavior and communication accordingly. In so (...)
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  14.  7
    COVID-19 and inequalities: the need for inclusive policy response.Farah Naz, Muhammad Ahmad & Asad Umair - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (3):1-5.
    In this essay, the authors analyze the COVID-19 pandemic from the perspective of inequalities and socio-economic vulnerabilities. We argue that the current pandemic has been looked at mainly through the lens of biology, leaving sociological blind spots in the response to this pandemic that have had adverse effects. We conclude with the suggestion that apart from recommendations from health sciences, policy makers must also take into account local societal structures in order to design effective policies to control the contagion.
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  15. Empirical Assumptions Behind the Violation of Expectation Experiments in Human and Non-Human Animals.Andrea Soledad Olmos & Santiago Ginnobili - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (3):1-24.
    One of the most widely used procedures applied to non-human animals or pre-linguistic humans is the “violation of expectation paradigm”. Curiously there is almost no discussion in the philosophical literature about it. Our objective will be to provide a first approach to the meta-theoretical nature of the assumptions behind the procedure that appeals to the violation of expectation and to extract some consequences. We show that behind them exists an empirical principle that affirms that the violation of the expectation of (...)
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  16.  1
    Epidemiological Models and COVID-19: A Comparative View.Saúl Pérez-González & Valeriano Iranzo - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (3):1-24.
    Epidemiological models have played a central role in the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly when urgent decisions were required and available evidence was sparse. They have been used to predict the evolution of the disease and to inform policy-making. In this paper, we address two kinds of epidemiological models widely used in the pandemic, namely, compartmental models and agent-based models. After describing their essentials—some real examples are invoked—we discuss their main strengths and weaknesses. Then, on the basis of this analysis, we make (...)
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  17.  1
    Modeling Mothering: The Development of an Experimental System in Neurobiology.Bican Polat - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (3):1-19.
    This article explores the development of a rat model of mother-infant relationships from its origins in the psychosomatic investigations of the mid-1960s to its elaboration into a theoretical system in neurobiology. I reconstruct the research trajectory of a group of neurobiologists in the United States, with a focus on the experimental practices they adopted while building this animal model. Providing a microhistory of this decade-long undertaking, I show that what drove the development of the model in practice was a serendipitous (...)
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  18.  2
    Henry Cowles, The Scientific Method: An Evolution of Thinking from Darwin to Dewey, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2020.Greg Priest - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (3):1-3.
  19.  6
    Ageism in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Age-Based Discrimination in Triage Decisions and Beyond.Jon Rueda - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (3):1-7.
    Ageism has unfortunately become a salient phenomenon during the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, triage decisions based on age have been hotly discussed. In this article, I first defend that, although there are ethical reasons to consider the age of patients in triage dilemmas, using age as a categorical exclusion is an unjustifiable ageist practice. Then, I argue that ageism during the pandemic has been fueled by media narratives and unfair assumptions which have led to an ethically problematic group homogenization of (...)
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  20.  10
    The holobiont self: understanding immunity in context.Tamar Schneider - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (3):1-23.
    Both concepts of the holobiont and the immune system are at the heart of an ongoing scientific and philosophical examination concerning questions of the organism’s individuality and identity as well as the relations between organisms and their environment. Examining the holobiont, the question of boundaries and individuality is challenging because it is both an assemblage of organisms with physiological cohesive aspects. I discuss the concept of immunity and the immune system function from the holobiont perspective. Because of the host-microbial close (...)
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  21.  4
    Aging 4.0? Rethinking the Ethical Framing of Technology-Assisted Eldercare.Mark Schweda & Silke Schicktanz - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (3):1-19.
    Technological approaches are increasingly discussed as a solution for the provision of support in activities of daily living as well as in medical and nursing care for older people. The development and implementation of such assistive technologies for eldercare raise manifold ethical, legal, and social questions. The discussion of these questions is influenced by theoretical perspectives and approaches from medical and nursing ethics, especially the principlist framework of autonomy, non-maleficence, beneficence, and justice. Tying in with previous criticism, the present contribution (...)
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  22.  4
    Seeing the Value of Experiential Knowledge Through COVID-19.Ylva Söderfeldt, Jane Macnaugthon, Anna Hallberg, Mariacarla Gadebusch Bondio, Hannah Bradby & Sarah Atkinson - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (3):1-4.
    Seeing the entwinement of social and epistemic challenges through COVID, we discuss the perils of simplistic appeals to ‘follow the science’. A hardened scientism risks excarbating social conflict and fueling conspiracy beliefs. Instead, we see an opportunity to devise more inclusive medical knowledge practices through endorsing experiential knowledge alongside traditional evidence types.
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  23.  2
    Pierre M. Durand, The Evolutionary Origins of Life and Death, Chicago & London: The University of Chicago Press, 2021.Javier Suárez - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (3):1-3.
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  24.  5
    Cycles and Circulation: A Theme in the History of Biology and Medicine.Lucy van de Wiel, Mathias Grote, Peder Anker, Warwick Anderson, Ariane Dröscher, Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, Lynn K. Nyhart, Guido Giglioni, Maaike van der Lugt, Shigehisa Kuriyama, Christiane Groeben, Janet Browne, Staffan Müller-Wille & Nick Hopwood - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (3):1-39.
    We invite systematic consideration of the metaphors of cycles and circulation as a long-term theme in the history of the life and environmental sciences and medicine. Ubiquitous in ancient religious and philosophical traditions, especially in representing the seasons and the motions of celestial bodies, circles once symbolized perfection. Over the centuries cyclic images in western medicine, natural philosophy, natural history and eventually biology gained independence from cosmology and theology and came to depend less on strictly circular forms. As potent ‘canonical (...)
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  25.  2
    What’s in a Name? From “Fluctuation Fit” to “Conformational Selection”: Rediscovery of a Concept.Beáta G. Vértessy & Ferenc Orosz - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (3):1-21.
    Rediscoveries are not rare in biology. A recent example is the re-birth of the "fluctuation fit" concept developed by F. B. Straub and G. Szabolcsi in the sixties of the last century, under various names, the most popular of which is the "conformational selection". This theory offers an alternative to the "induced fit" concept by Koshland for the interpretation of the mechanism of protein—ligand interactions. A central question is whether the ligand induces a conformational change or rather selects and stabilizes (...)
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  26.  1
    Reevaluating the Grandmother Hypothesis.Aja Watkins - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (3):1-29.
    Menopause is an evolutionary mystery: how could living longer with no capacity to reproduce possibly be advantageous? Several explanations have been offered for why female humans, unlike our closest primate relatives, have such an extensive post-reproductive lifespan. Proponents of the so-called “grandmother hypothesis” suggest that older women are able to increase their fitness by helping to care for their grandchildren as allomothers. This paper first distinguishes the grandmother hypothesis from several other hypotheses that attempt to explain menopause, and then develops (...)
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  27. Correction To: Darwin’s “Horrid” Doubt, in Context.Amos Wollen - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (3):1-1.
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  28. Ethnobotanical profiles of wild edible plants recorded from Mongolia by Yunatov during 1940–1951.Yanying Zhang, Wurhan, Sachula, Yongmei & Khasbagan - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (3):1-25.
    Mongolian traditional botanical knowledge has been rarely researched concerning the ethnobotany theory and methodology in the last six decades ). However, most of the known literature of indigenous knowledge and information regarding the use of local wild plants among Mongolian herders was first documented by several botanical research of Russian researchers in Mongolia through the 1940s and 1950s. One of the most comprehensive works was completed by A. A. Yunatov, which is known as “Fodder Plants of Pastures and Hayfields of (...)
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  29.  2
    Cristian Saborido, Filosofía de la Medicina, Madrid: Tecnos, 2020.Virginia Ballesteros - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-3.
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  30.  1
    The Plasticity of Ageing and the Rediscovery of Ground-State Prevention.Alessandro Blasimme - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-18.
    In this paper, I present an emerging explanatory framework about ageing and care. In particular, I focus on how, in contrast to most classical accounts of ageing, biomedicine today construes the ageing process as a modifiable trajectory. This framing turns ageing from a stage of inexorable decline into the focus of preventive strategies, harnessing the functional plasticity of the ageing organism. I illustrate this shift by focusing on studies of the demographic dynamics in human population, observations of ageing as an (...)
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  31.  14
    Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther, When Maps become the World, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2020.Hernán Bobadilla - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-4.
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  32.  12
    On Evidence Fiascos and Judgments in COVID-19 Policy.Stefano Canali & Saana Jukola - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-4.
    Calls for evidence-based approaches to COVID-19 have sparked up discussions on the use of evidence for policy. In this note, we expand these discussions: while the debate has mostly focused on the types of evidence to be used for policy, we argue that the assessment of judgments involved in data practices and evidence production should play a central role in evaluating policy.
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  33.  1
    COVID-19 and the Reenactment of Mass Masking in South Korea.Hyungsub Choi & Heewon Kim - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-4.
    How can we explain the divergence of social commitment to mass masking as public health measures in the global response to COVID-19? Rather than searching for deep-rooted cultural norms, this essay views the contemporary practice as a reenactment of multiple layers of accumulated socio-material conditions. This perspective will allow us to pursue a comparative study of the social history of mask-wearing around the world.
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  34.  9
    Hamster numbers: biopolitics and animal agency in the dutch fields, circa 1870-present.Raf De Bont - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-25.
    Numbers of European hamsters in the Dutch Province of Limburg have been subject to much scrutiny and controversy. In the late nineteenth century, policymakers who considered them too numerous set up eradication programs. In the second half of the twentieth century, even when its domestic relative increasingly circulated as a pet in urban spaces, the numbers of European hamsters in the rural areas collapsed. Large-scale preservation campaigns and reintroduction programs ensued. According to some media, all this has turned the European (...)
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  35.  2
    The Past and Present of Pandemic Management: Health Diplomacy, International Epidemiological Surveillance, and COVID-19.Flavio D’Abramo - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-6.
    The establishment of international sanitary institutions, which took place in the context of rivalry among the great European powers and their colonial expansion in Asia, allowed for the development of administrative systems of international epidemiological surveillance as a response to the cholera epidemics at the end of the nineteenth century. In this note, I reflect on how a historical analysis of the inception of international epidemiological surveillance and pandemic management helps us to understand what is happening in the COVID-19 pandemic (...)
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  36.  1
    Arche-Writing and Data-Production in Theory-Oriented Scientific Practice: The Case of Free-Viewing as Experimental System to Test the Temporal Correlation Hypothesis.Juan Felipe Espinosa Cristia, Carla Fardella & Juan Manuel Garrido Wainer - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-27.
    Data production in experimental sciences depends on localised experimental systems, but the epistemic properties of data transcend the contingencies of the processes that produce them. Philosophers often believe that experimental systems instantiate but do not produce the epistemic properties of data. In this paper, we argue that experimental systems' local functioning entails intrinsic capacities to produce the epistemic properties of data. We develop this idea by applying Derrida's model of arche-writing to study a case of theory-oriented experimental practice. Derrida's model (...)
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  37.  10
    What are the COVID-19 models modeling (philosophically speaking)?Jonathan Fuller - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-5.
    COVID-19 epidemic models raise important questions for science and philosophy of science. Here I provide a brief preliminary exploration of three: what kinds of predictions do epidemic models make, are they causal models, and how do different kinds of epidemic models differ in terms of what they represent?
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  38.  5
    Covid-19 and the Need for More History and Philosophy of RNA.Stephan Guttinger - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-6.
    RNA is central to the COVID-19 pandemic—it shapes how the SARS Coronavirus 2 behaves, and how researchers investigate and fight it. However, RNA has received relatively little attention in the history and philosophy of the life sciences. By analysing RNA biology in more detail, philosophers and historians of science could gain new and powerful tools to assess the current pandemic, and the biological sciences more generally.
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  39.  4
    Imagination and Remembrance: What Role Should Historical Epidemiology Play in a World Bewitched by Mathematical Modelling of COVID-19 and Other Epidemics?Euzebiusz Jamrozik & George S. Heriot - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-5.
    Although every emerging infectious disease occurs in a unique context, the behaviour of previous pandemics offers an insight into the medium- and long-term outcomes of the current threat. Where an informative historical analogue exists, epidemiologists and policymakers should consider how the insights of the past can inform current forecasts and responses.
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  40.  1
    Darwin’s Perception of Nature and the Question of Disenchantment: A Semantic Analysis Across the Six Editions of On the Origin of Species.Bárbara Jiménez-Pazos - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-28.
    This body of work is motivated by an apparent contradiction between, on the one hand, Darwin’s testimony in his autobiographical text about a supposed perceptual colour blindness before the aesthetic magnificence of natural landscapes, and, on the other hand, the last paragraph of On the Origin of Species, where he claims to perceive the forms of nature as beautiful and wonderful. My aim is to delve into the essence of the Darwinian perception of beauty in the context of the Weberian (...)
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  41.  9
    Life’s organization between matter and form: Neo-Aristotelian approaches and biosemiotics.Çağlar Karaca - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-40.
    In this paper, I discuss the neo-Aristotelian approaches, which usually reinterpret Aristotle’s ideas on form and/or borrow the notion of formal cause without engaging with the broader implications of Aristotle’s metaphysics. In opposition to these approaches, I claim that biosemiotics can propose an alternative view on life’s form. Specifically, I examine the proposals to replace the formal cause with gene-centrism, functionalism, and structuralism. After critically addressing these approaches, I discuss the problems of reconciling Aristotelianism with the modern view of life’s (...)
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  42.  1
    Under the Spell of SARS-CoV-2: A Closer Look at the Sociopolitical Dynamics.Gunjan Khera & Neha Khetrapal - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-4.
    Sitting on the fine line between pathogen ‘transmissibility’ and ‘severity’, the Behavioural Immune System is responsible for activating behaviours that minimise infection risks and maximise fitness. To achieve self-preservation, the BIS also fuels social and political attitudes. We aim to explain societal changes that may be sparked by COVID-19 by highlighting links between human evolutionary history and our psychological faculties mediated by the BIS.
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  43.  7
    Daniel R. Brooks, Eric P. Hoberg, Walter A. Boeger, The Stockholm Paradigm: Climate Change and Emerging Disease. Chicago/London: The University of Chicago Press, 2019, 400 Pp., $40.00 (Paper)/$120.00 (Cloth)/$10.00–$40.00. [REVIEW]Alice Laciny - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-3.
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  44.  6
    COVID-19 Heralds a New Epistemology of Science for the Public Good.Manfred D. Laubichler, Peter Schlosser, Jürgen Renn, Federica Russo, Gerald Steiner, Eva Schernhammer, Carlo Jaeger & Guido Caniglia - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-6.
    COVID-19 has revealed that science needs to learn how to better deal with the irreducible uncertainty that comes with global systemic risks as well as with the social responsibility of science towards the public good. Further developing the epistemological principles of new theories and experimental practices, alternative investigative pathways and communication, and diverse voices can be an important contribution of history and philosophy of science and of science studies to ongoing transformations of the scientific enterprise.
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  45.  1
    On Shaping Expectations of “New Normals” for Living in a Post-COVID-19 World.William Leeming - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-6.
    I begin with my impressions of a narrative of redemption that is caught up in the formation of new environmental, social, and political aspirations for the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. I then reflect on, first, pre-pandemic scholarship on “biosecurity” and, second, taking up a variation of the syndemic approach to understanding the COVID-19 pandemic. I end by arguing that we should not expect to live with “new normals” for living in a post-COVID-19 world that leaves intact “old normals” that (...)
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  46.  5
    Conceiving reproduction in German Naturphilosophie. Introduction.Susanne Lettow - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-15.
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  47.  5
    COVID-19 and the Selection Problem in National Cause-of-Death Statistics.B. I. B. Lindahl - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-5.
    The World Health Organization has issued international instructions for certification and classification (coding) of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as cause of death. Central to these instructions is the selection of the underlying cause of death for a public health preventive purpose. This article focuses on two rules for this selection: (1) that a death due to COVID-19 should be counted independently of pre-existing conditions that are suspected of triggering a severe course of COVID-19 and (2) that COVID-19 should not be (...)
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  48.  2
    COVID-19, a Critical Juncture in China’s Wildlife Protection?Chuntian Lu, Fengqiao Mei & Jing Xu - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-4.
    The COVID-19 crisis has called into question the utilitarianism-oriented human-wildlife relations and the legitimacy of wildlife protection regime in China. The pandemic has triggered significant, swift, and encompassing changes in policies. Drawing on insights from historical institutionalism, we argue that COVID-19 constitutes a critical juncture in China’s wildlife protection policy.
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  49.  1
    Neither Vitalist nor Mechanist, Neither Dualist nor Idealist: Plessner's Third Way: Essay Review of Helmuth Plessner, Levels of Organic Life and the Human: An Introduction to Philosophical Anthropology, New York: Fordham University Press, 2019. [REVIEW]Francesca Michelini - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-10.
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  50.  5
    Science, Misinformation and Digital Technology During the Covid-19 Pandemic.Aníbal Monasterio Astobiza - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-6.
    Three interdependent factors are behind the current Covid-19 pandemic distorted narrative: science´s culture of “publish or perish”, misinformation spread by traditional media and social digital media and distrust of technology for tracing contacts and its privacy-related issues. In this short paper, I wish to tackle how these three factors have added up to give rise to a negative public understanding of science in times of a health crisis, such as the current Covid-19 pandemic and finally, how to confront all these (...)
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  51.  3
    Croizat’s Dangerous Ideas: Practices, Prejudices, and Politics in Contemporary Biogeography.Juan J. Morrone - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-45.
    The biogeographic contributions of Léon Croizat and the conflictive relationships with his intellectual descendants and critics are analysed. Croizat’s panbiogeography assumed that vicariance is the most important biogeographic process and that dispersal does not contribute to biogeographic patterns. Dispersalist biogeographers criticized or avoided mentioning panbiogeography, especially in the context of the “hardening” of the Modern Synthesis. Researchers at the American Museum of Natural History associated panbiogeography with Hennig’s phylogenetic systematics, creating cladistic biogeography. On the other hand, a group of New (...)
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  52.  3
    Masks, Mechanisms and Covid-19: The Limitations of Randomized Trials in Pandemic Policymaking.Seán M. Muller - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-5.
    Reluctance to endorse mask wearing to slow transmission of SARS-Cov-2 has been rationalized by the failure of randomized control trials to provide supportive evidence. In contrast, a mechanism-based approach suggests that mask wearing should be expected to reduce transmission: so that contrary evidence from RCTs likely reflects the need to focus policy attention on addressing interacting or mediating factors that offset the basic positive effect. The differing conclusions that result from these two approaches reflect the limitations of RCT-based approaches that (...)
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  53.  13
    A. S. Barwich, Smellosophy: What the Nose Tells the Mind, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2020.Nedah N. Nemati - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-4.
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  54.  3
    Janina Wellmann, The Form of Becoming: Embryology and the Epistemology of Rhythm, 1760–1830 (Translated by Kate Sturge). New York: Zone Books, 2017, 432 Pp. ISBN: 978–1-935,408–76-5. [REVIEW]Laura Nuño de la Rosa - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-3.
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  55.  2
    Seeing Clearly Through COVID-19: Current and Future Questions for the History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences.Lisa Onaga & Giovanni Boniolo - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-3.
    The role of a journal like HPLS during the novel coronavirus pandemic should serve as a means for scholars in different fields and professions to consider historically and critically what is happening as it unfolds. Surely it cannot tackle all the possible issues related to the pandemic, in particular to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it does have a responsibility to foster the best possible dialogue about the various issues related to the history and philosophy of the life sciences, and thus (...)
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  56.  6
    Making Policy Decisions Under Plural Uncertainty: Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic.Malvina Ongaro - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-5.
    In this paper, I contend that the uncertainty faced by policy-makers in the COVID-19 pandemic goes beyond the one modelled in standard decision theory. A philosophical analysis of the nature of this uncertainty could suggest some principles to guide policy-making.
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  57.  6
    How Disinformation Kills: Philosophical Challenges in the Post-Covid Society.Miguel Palomo - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-5.
    The paper argues that the large extent of disinformation has increased the number of deaths from coronavirus due to the proliferation of hoaxes spread via digital tools and media. It is noted that this problem could worsen in the post-COVID society and as such should be understood as having significant political import. Moreover, the phenomenon of disinformation has raised ethical questions around how to actively prevent deaths indirectly caused by hoaxes, as well as epistemological questions around maintaining criteria of truthfulness.
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  58.  2
    Counting the Dead and Making the Dead Count: Configuring Data and Accountability.Brian Rappert - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-24.
    This article examines the relation between counting, counts and accountability. It does so by comparing the responses of the British government to deaths associated with Covid-19 in 2020 to its responses to deaths associated with the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Similarities and dissimilarities between the cases regarding what counted as data, what data were taken to count, what data counted for, and how data were counted provide the basis for considering how the bounds of democratic accountability are constituted. Based on (...)
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  59.  1
    Animal Research Unbound: The Messiness of the Moral and the Ethnographer’s Dilemma.Lesley A. Sharp - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-19.
    Interspecies intimacy defines an inescapable reality of lab animal research. This essay is an effort to disentangle this reality’s consequences—both in and outside the lab—as framed by the quandaries of ethnographic engagement. Encounters with lab staff and, in turn, with audiences unfamiliar with laboratory life, together provide crucial entry points for considering how the “messiness of the moral” might facilitate an “unbounded” approach to lab animal worlds. Within the lab, one encounters specialized ethical principles—often codified as law—that delimit strict boundaries (...)
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  60.  10
    Can Aging Research Generate a Theory of Health?Jonathan Sholl - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-26.
    While aging research and policy aim to promote ‘health’ at all ages, there remains no convincing explanation of what this ‘health’ is. In this paper, I investigate whether we can find, implicit within the sciences of aging, a way to know what health is and how to measure it, i.e. a theory of health. To answer this, I start from scientific descriptions of aging and its modulators and then try to develop some generalizations about ‘health’ implicit within this research. After (...)
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  61.  4
    COVID-19 and the problem of clinical knowledge.Jeremy R. Simon - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-5.
    COVID-19 presents many challenges, both clinical and philosophical. In this paper we discuss a major lacuna that COVID-19 revealed in our philosophy and understanding of medicine. Whereas we have some understanding of how physician-scientists interrogate the world to learn more about medicine, we do not understand the epistemological costs and benefits of the various ways clinicians acquire new knowledge in their fields. We will also identify reasons this topic is important both when the world is facing a pandemic and when (...)
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  62.  4
    Non-Epistemic Values in Shaping the Parameters for Evaluating the Effectiveness of Candidate Vaccines: The Case of an Ebola Vaccine Trial.Joby Varghese - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-15.
    This paper examines the case of Ebola, ça Suffit trial which was conducted in Guinea during Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in 2015. I demonstrate that various non-epistemic considerations may legitimately influence the criteria for evaluating the efficacy and effectiveness of a candidate vaccine. Such non-epistemic considerations, which are social, ethical, and pragmatic, can be better placed and addressed in scientific research by appealing to non-epistemic values. I consider two significant features any newly developed vaccine should possess; the duration of immunity (...)
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  63.  1
    The Road From Evidence to Policies and the Erosion of the Standards of Democratic Scrutiny in the COVID-19 Pandemic.Davide Vecchi & Giorgio Airoldi - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-5.
    The COVID-19 pandemic poses extraordinary public health challenges. In order to respond to such challenges, most democracies have relied on so-called ‘evidence-based’ policies, which supposedly devolve to science the burden of their justification. However, the biomedical sciences can only provide a theory-laden evidential basis, while reliable statistical data for policy support is often scarce. Therefore, scientific evidence alone cannot legitimise COVID-19 public health policies, which are ultimately based on political decisions. Given this inevitable input on policy-making, the risk of arbitrariness (...)
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  64.  1
    Credibility and Evidence in the Handling of SARS-CoV-2.Helbert E. Velilla-Jiménez - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-8.
    This short paper aims to present some philosophical considerations about the relationship between credibility and the uses of evidence. The point of view regarding evidence and scientific and political decisions in this paper focuses on the current world situation of the COVID-19.
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  65.  3
    How political philosophies can help to discuss and differentiate theories in community ecology.Annette Voigt - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-25.
    This paper uses structural analogies to competing political philosophies of human society as a heuristic tool to differentiate between ecological theories and to bring out new aspects of apparently well-known classics of ecological scholarship. These two different areas of knowledge have in common that their objects are ‘societies’, i.e. units composed of individuals, and that contradictory and competing theories about these supra-individual units exist. The benefit of discussing ecological theories in terms of their analogies to political philosophies, in this case (...)
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  66.  4
    Between Hoping to Die and Longing to Live Longer.Christopher S. Wareham - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-20.
    Drawing on Ezekiel Emanuel’s controversial piece ‘Why I hope to die at 75,’ I distinguish two types of concern in ethical debates about extending the human lifespan. The first focusses on the value of living longer from prudential and social perspectives. The second type of concern, which has received less attention, focusses on the value of aiming for longer life. This distinction, which is overlooked in the ethical literature on life extension, is significant because there are features of human psychology (...)
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  67.  8
    “I would sooner die than give up”: Huxley and Darwin's deep disagreement.Mary P. Winsor - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-36.
    Thomas Henry Huxley and Charles Darwin discovered in 1857 that they had a fundamental disagreement about biological classification. Darwin believed that the natural system should express genealogy while Huxley insisted that classification must stand on its own basis, independent of evolution. Darwin used human races as a model for his view. This private and long-forgotten dispute exposes important divisions within Victorian biology. Huxley, trained in physiology and anatomy, was a professional biologist while Darwin was a gentleman naturalist. Huxley agreed with (...)
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  68.  1
    Taxon Names and Varieties of Reference.Joeri Witteveen - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-12.
    Linnaean-style, rank-based codes of taxonomic nomenclature provide stability to the relation between taxon names and their referents through the device of nomenclatural types. The practice of using types to tether names to taxa is uncontroversial and well-understood. But the nature of the relation between types, names, and taxa continues to be a topic of philosophical debate. A particularly contested issue is whether it is necessary for taxa that have a type specimen to contain their type specimen. Jerzy Brzozowski has recently (...)
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  69.  5
    Before translational medicine: laboratory-clinic relations.Michael Worboys, Carsten Timmermann & Elizabeth Toon - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-5.
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  70.  4
    Historical Reflection on Taijin-Kyōfushō During COVID-19: A Global Phenomenon of Social Anxiety?Harry Yi-Jui Wu & Shisei Tei - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-5.
    Although fear and anxiety have gradually become a shared experience in the time of COVID-19, few studies have examined its content from historical, cultural, and phenomenological perspectives concerning the self-awareness and alterity. We discuss the development of the ubiquitous nature of Taijin-kyōfushō, a subtype of social anxiety disorder originated and considered culturally-bound in the 1930s Japan involving fear of offending or displeasing other people. Considering the historical processes of disease classification, advances in cognitive neurosciences, and the need to better understand (...)
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  71.  3
    Correction To: John N. Prebble, Searching for a Mechanism. A History of Cell Bioenergetics: New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2019, 276 Pp., £55. [REVIEW]Özlem Yilmaz - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-1.
    A correction to this paper has been published: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40656-021-00404-8.
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  72.  6
    Immunitarianism: Defence and Sacrifice in the Politics of Covid-19.Btihaj Ajana - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-31.
    As witnessed over the last year, immunity emerged as one of most highly debated topics in the current Covid-19 pandemic. Countries around the globe have been debating whether herd immunity or lockdown is the best response, as the race continues for the development and rollout of effective vaccines against coronavirus and as the economic costs of implementing strict containment measures are weighed against public health costs. What became evident all the more is that immunity is precisely what bridges between biological (...)
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  73.  29
    COVID-19 as the Underlying Cause of Death: Disentangling Facts and Values.Maria Cristina Amoretti & Elisabetta Lalumera - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-4.
    In the ongoing pandemic, death statistics influence people’s feelings and government policy. But when does COVID-19 qualify as the cause of death? As philosophers of medicine interested in conceptual clarification, we address the question by analyzing the World Health Organization’s rules for the certification of death. We show that for COVID-19, WHO rules take into account both facts and values.
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  74.  12
    Coronavirus Biopolitics: The Paradox of France’s Foucauldian Heritage.Mathieu Arminjon & Régis Marion-Veyron - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-5.
    In this short paper we analyse some paradoxical aspects of France’s Foucauldian heritage: while several French scholars claim the COVID-19 pandemic is a perfect example of what Foucault called biopolitics, popular reaction instead suggests a biopolitical failure on the part of the government; One of these failures concerns the government’s inability to produce reliable biostatistical data, especially regarding health inequalities in relation to COVID-19. We interrogate whether Foucaldianism contributed, in the past as well today, towards a certain myopia in France (...)
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  75.  3
    Is Wilson’s religion Durkheim’s, or Hobbes’s Leviathan?Andrew R. Atkinson - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-19.
    This paper critically supports the modern evolutionary explanation of religion popularised by David Sloan Wilson, by comparing it with those of his predecessors, namely Emile Durkheim and Thomas Hobbes, and to some biological examples which seem analogous to religions as kinds of superorganisms in their own right. The aim of the paper is to draw out a theoretical pedigree in philosophy and sociology that is reflected down the lines of various other evolutionarily minded contributors on the subject of religion. The (...)
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  76.  4
    Demented patients and the quandaries of identity: setting the problem, advancing a proposal.Giovanni Boniolo - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-16.
    In the paper, after clarifying terms such as ‘identity’, ‘self’ and ‘personhood’, I propose an empirical account of identity based on the notion of “whole phenotype”. This move allows one to claim the persistence of the individuals before and after their being affected by dementia. Furthermore, I show how this account permits us to address significant questions related to demented individuals’ loss of the capacity of moral decisions.
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  77.  12
    Flattening the curve is flattening the complexity of covid-19.Marcel Boumans - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-15.
    Since the February 2020 publication of the article ‘Flattening the curve’ in The Economist, political leaders worldwide have used this expression to legitimize the introduction of social distancing measures in fighting Covid-19. In fact, this expression represents a complex combination of three components: the shape of the epidemic curve, the social distancing measures and the reproduction number \. Each component has its own history, each with a different history of control. Presenting the control of the epidemic as flattening the curve (...)
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  78.  13
    Beyond politics: additional factors underlying skepticism of a COVID-19 vaccine.Kenneth Boyd - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-4.
    Even before it had been developed there had already been skepticism among the general public concerning a vaccine for COVID-19. What are the factors that drive this skepticism? While much has been said about how political differences are at play, in this article I draw attention to two additional factors that have not received as much attention: witnessing the fallibility of the scientific process play out in real time, and a perceived breakdown of the distinction between experts and non-experts.
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  79.  6
    Covid-19 and the power of rules.Malcolm Brady - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-5.
    This article discusses the role of human-created rules in our collective adapting to Covid-19 and our survival in its wake. Rules that make sense become institutionalised and play a dual role in our response to the pandemic: they provide a guide for individual behavior and they provide a mechanism for coordinating all our behaviors.
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  80.  10
    Contested Numbers: The failed negotiation of objective statistics in a methodological review of Kinsey et al.’s sex research.Tabea Cornel - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-32.
    From 1950 to 1952, statisticians W.G. Cochran, C.F. Mosteller, and J.W. Tukey reviewed A.C. Kinsey and colleagues’ methodology. Neither the history-and-philosophy of science literature nor contemporary theories of interdisciplinarity seem to offer a conceptual model that fits this forced interaction, which was characterized by significant power asymmetries and disagreements on multiple levels. The statisticians initially attempted to exclude all non-technical matters from their evaluation, but their political and personal investments interfered with this agenda. In the face of McCarthy’s witch hunts, (...)
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  81.  9
    Stability by Degrees: Conceptions of Constancy From the History of Perceptual Psychology.Louise Daoust - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-22.
    Do the physical facts of the viewed environment account for the ordinary experiences we have of that environment? According to standard philosophical views, distal facts do account for our experiences, a phenomenon explained by appeal to perceptual constancy, the phenomenal stability of objects and environmental properties notwithstanding physical changes in proximal stimulation. This essay reviews a significant but neglected research tradition in experimental psychology according to which percepts systematically do not correspond to mind-independent distal facts. Instead, stability of percept values (...)
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  82.  9
    COVID-19: Rethinking the nature of viruses.Soraya de Chadarevian & Roberta Raffaetà - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-5.
    In this brief essay, we combine biological, historical, philosophical and anthropological perspectives to ask anew the question about the nature of the virus. How should we understand Sars-CoV-2 and why does it matter? The argument we present is that the virus undermines any neat distinction between the natural and the human-made, the biological and the social. Rather, to understand the virus and the pandemic we need to understand both as intimately connected to our own social and historical condition. What started (...)
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  83.  3
    Medical toolkit organisms and Covid-19.Ulrich E. Stegmann - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-4.
    The Covid-19 pandemic has intensified interest in animals with superior antiviral defences. I argue that the role of such animals in biomedical research contrasts with the role of disease models.
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  84.  11
    The meaning of Freedom after Covid-19.Mirko Farina & Andrea Lavazza - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-5.
    Many governments have seen digital health technologies as promising tools to tackle the current COVID-19 pandemic. A much-talked example in this context involves the recent deluge of digital contact tracing apps aimed at detecting Covid-19 exposure. In this short contribution we look at the bio-political justification of this phenomenon and reflect on whether DCT apps constitute, as it is often argued, a serious potential breach of our right to privacy. Despite praising efforts attempting to develop legal and ethical frameworks for (...)
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  85. Ageing and the Goal of Evolution.Justin Garson - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-16.
    There is a certain metaphor that has enjoyed tremendous longevity in the evolution of ageing literature. According to this metaphor, nature has a certain goal or purpose, the perpetuation of the species, or, alternatively, the reproductive success of the individual. In relation to this goal, the individual organism has a function, job, or task, namely, to breed and, in some species, to raise its brood to maturity. On this picture, those who cannot, or can no longer, reproduce are somehow invisible (...)
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  86.  3
    Mouse avatars of human cancers: the temporality of translation in precision oncology.Sara Green, Mie S. Dam & Mette N. Svendsen - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-22.
    Patient-derived xenografts are currently promoted as new translational models in precision oncology. PDXs are immunodeficient mice with human tumors that are used as surrogate models to represent specific types of cancer. By accounting for the genetic heterogeneity of cancer tumors, PDXs are hoped to provide more clinically relevant results in preclinical research. Further, in the function of so-called “mouse avatars”, PDXs are hoped to allow for patient-specific drug testing in real-time. This paper examines the circulation of knowledge and bodily material (...)
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  87.  5
    Aging Biomarkers and the Measurement of Health and Risk.Sara Green & Line Hillersdal - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-23.
    Prevention of age-related disorders is increasingly in focus of health policies, and it is hoped that early intervention on processes of deterioration can promote healthier and longer lives. New opportunities to slow down the aging process are emerging with new fields such as personalized nutrition. Data-intensive research has the potential to improve the precision of existing risk factors, e.g., to replace coarse-grained markers such as blood cholesterol with more detailed multivariate biomarkers. In this paper, we follow an attempt to develop (...)
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  88.  40
    The Molecular Vista: Current Perspectives on Molecules and Life in the Twentieth Century.Mathias Grote, Lisa Onaga, Angela N. H. Creager, Soraya de Chadarevian, Daniel Liu, Gina Surita & Sarah E. Tracy - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-18.
    This essay considers how scholarly approaches to the development of molecular biology have too often narrowed the historical aperture to genes, overlooking the ways in which other objects and processes contributed to the molecularization of life. From structural and dynamic studies of biomolecules to cellular membranes and organelles to metabolism and nutrition, new work by historians, philosophers, and STS scholars of the life sciences has revitalized older issues, such as the relationship of life to matter, or of physicochemical inquiries to (...)
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  89.  6
    The Legacy of the Fieldwork of E. W. Nelson and E. A. Goldman in Mexico (1892–1906) for Research on Poorly Known Mammals. [REVIEW]Lázaro Guevara - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-14.
    More than a century ago, Edward W. Nelson and Edward A. Goldman spent 14 years traveling across much of Mexico in one of the most critical biological expeditions ever undertaken by two naturalists. This long-term survey was a cornerstone in Mexican mammalogy development; however, their specific role in discovering taxa that were practically unknown before the expedition is not yet necessarily recognized. In a time when the historical aspect of knowledge on mammals is being ignored for the new generations of (...)
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  90.  3
    Christian Reiß, Der Axolotl: Ein Labortier im Heimaquarium, 1864–1914, Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag, 2020, 299 pp., € 29.90. [REVIEW]Christoph Hoffmann - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-4.
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  91.  3
    The time of one's life: views of aging and age group justice.Nancy S. Jecker - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-14.
    This paper argues that we can see our lives as a snapshot happening now or as a moving picture extending across time. These dual ways of seeing our lives inform how we conceive of the problem of age group justice. A snapshot view sees age group justice as an interpersonal problem between distinct age groups. A moving picture view sees age group justice as a first-person problem of prudential choice. This paper explores these different ways of thinking about age group (...)
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  92.  4
    The Genealogy of Dwarfs: Reproduction and Romantic Mythology in Goethe’s New Melusine.Christine Lehleiter - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-28.
    Goethe’s studies of natural form have occupied generations of scholars and the discussion on the relationship between Goethe’s thought and evolutionary theory has never ceased since Haeckel’s claims in the late nineteenth century. In scholarship which has aimed to address the question of change in Goethe’s concept of nature, the focus has been primarily on his scientific writings. Aiming for a comprehensive understanding of Goethe’s thought on reproduction, this article sets out to contribute to the ongoing debate by focusing on (...)
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  93.  14
    COVID-19, immunoprivilege and structural inequalities.Jordan Liz - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-6.
    As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise, some countries, including the US, Chile, and Germany, have considered issuing “immunity passports.” This possibility has raised concerns and debate regarding their potential social, political and economic ramifications, especially for marginalized communities. This paper contributes to that debate by exposing that ways in which immunoprivilege already exists and operates within our present system of structural inequalities.
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  94.  9
    Who's Afraid of Epigenetics? Habits, Instincts, and Charles Darwin’s Evolutionary Theory.Mauro Mandrioli & Mariagrazia Portera - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-23.
    Our paper aims at bringing to the fore the crucial role that habits play in Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by means of natural selection. We have organized the paper in two steps: first, we analyse value and functions of the concept of habit in Darwin's early works, notably in his Notebooks, and compare these views to his mature understanding of the concept in the Origin of Species and later works; second, we discuss Darwin’s ideas on habits in the light (...)
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  95.  9
    What’s My Age Again? Age Categories as Interactive Kinds.Hane Htut Maung - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-24.
    This paper addresses a philosophical problem concerning the ontological status of age classification. For various purposes, people are commonly classified into categories such as “young adulthood”, “middle adulthood”, and “older adulthood”, which are defined chronologically. These age categories prima facie seem to qualify as natural kinds under a homeostatic property cluster account of natural kindhood, insofar as they capture certain biological, psychological, and social properties of people that tend to cluster together due to causal processes. However, this is challenged by (...)
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  96.  3
    How Urban ‘Informality’ Can Inform Response to COVID-19: A Research Agenda for the Future.Samson Kinyanjui Muchina, Moses Madadi Obimbo, Israel Nyaburi Nyadera & Francis Onditi - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-5.
    In the era of increasingly defined ontological insecurity and uncertainty driven by the ravages of COVID-19, urban informal settlement has emerged as a source of resilience. Indeed, the effects of a pandemic transcends its epidemiological characteristics to political economy and societal resilience. If resilience is the capacity of a system to adapt successfully to significant challenges that threaten the function or development of the human society, then ontological insecurity is about the lack of such capacity. Drawing on Keith Hartian’s understanding (...)
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  97.  6
    Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?: From Biological Age to Biological Time.Marco J. Nathan - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-16.
    During his celebrated 1922 debate with Bergson, Einstein famously proclaimed: “the time of the philosopher does not exist, there remains only a psychological time that differs from the physicist’s.” Einstein’s dictum, I maintain, has been metabolized by the natural sciences, which typically presuppose, more or less explicitly, the existence of a single, univocal, temporal substratum, ultimately determined by physics. This reductionistic assumption pervades much biological and biomedical practice. The chronological age allotted to individuals is conceived as an objective quantity, allowing (...)
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  98.  2
    Robert E. Kohler, Inside Science: Stories From the Field in Human and Animal Science, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2019, 264 Pp., $35.00. [REVIEW]Maria Pirogovskaya - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-4.
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  99.  17
    Loneliness and Negative Effects on Mental Health as Trade-Offs of the Policy Response to COVID-19.Elena Popa - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-5.
    This note introduces a framework incorporating multiple sources of evidence into the response to COVID-19 to overcome the neglect of social and psychological causes of illness. By using the example of psychological research on loneliness and its effects on physical and mental health with particular focus on aging and disability, I seek to open further inquiry into how relevant psychological and social aspects of health can be addressed at policy level.
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  100.  5
    Blood and Plasma Donors During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Arguments Against Financial Stimulation.Laura Pricop - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-4.
    During the COVID-19 pandemic, blood and convalescent plasma donors are dearly needed. There is a need to modify donor recruitment strategies in order to stimulate these donors. Financial stimulants though, cannot be possibly used. This paper will analyze, from an ethical perspective, the possible consequences regarding the blood and plasma donor system by a simple shift of attention from the voluntary unpaid donor to the paid one or the blood seller.
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  101.  4
    Ateleological Propagation in Goethe’s Metamorphosis of Plants.Gregory Rupik - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-28.
    It was commonly accepted in Goethe’s time that plants were equipped both to propagate themselves and to play a certain role in the natural economy as a result of God’s beneficent and providential design. Goethe’s identification of sexual propagation as the “summit of nature” in The Metamorphosis of Plants might suggest that he, too, drew strongly from this theological-metaphysical tradition that had given rise to Christian Wolff’s science of teleology. Goethe, however, portrayed nature as inherently active and propagative, itself improvising (...)
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  102.  3
    Justin Garson, What Biological Functions Are and Why They Matter, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019. [REVIEW]Cristian Saborido - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-3.
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  103.  5
    Bats, Objectivity, and Viral Spillover Risk.Beckett Sterner, Steve Elliott, Nate Upham & Nico Franz - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-5.
    What should the best practices be for modeling zoonotic disease risks, e.g. to anticipate the next pandemic, when background assumptions are unsettled or evolving rapidly? This challenge runs deeper than one might expect, all the way into how we model the robustness of contemporary phylogenetic inference and taxonomic classifications. Different and legitimate taxonomic assumptions can destabilize the putative objectivity of zoonotic risk assessments, thus potentially supporting inconsistent and overconfident policy decisions.
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  104.  5
    “ Un -Promethean” science and the future of humanity: Heidegger’s warning.Norman K. Swazo - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-27.
    The twentieth-century German philosopher Martin Heidegger distinguished “meditative” and “calculative” modes of thinking as a way of highlighting the problematique of modern technology and the limits of modern science. In doing so he also was prescient to recognize, in 1955, that the most significant danger to the future of humanity are developments in molecular biology and biotechnology, in contrast to the post-World War global threat of thermonuclear weapons. These insights are engaged here in view of recent discussion of the need (...)
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  105.  22
    COVID-19, Uncertainty, and Moral Experiments.Ibo Van de Poel & Michael Klenk - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-5.
    Pandemics like COVID-19 confront us with decisions about life and death that come with great uncertainty, factual as well as moral. How should policy makers deal with such uncertainty? We suggest that rather than to deliberate until they have found the right course of action, they better do moral experiments that generate relevant experiences to enable more reliable moral evaluations and rational decisions.
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  106.  5
    Small RNA Research and the Scientific Repertoire: A Tale About Biochemistry and Genetics, Crops and Worms, Development and Disease.Sophie Juliane Veigl - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-25.
    The discovery of RNA interference in 1998 has made a lasting impact on biological research. Identifying the regulatory role of small RNAs changed the modes of molecular biological inquiry as well as biologists' understanding of genetic regulation. This article examines the early years of small RNA biology's success story. I query which factors had to come together so that small RNA research came into life in the blink of an eye. I primarily look at scientific repertoires as facilitators of rapid (...)
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  107.  18
    Darwin’s “Horrid” Doubt, in Context.Amos Wollen - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-12.
    Proponents of Alvin Plantinga’s evolutionary argument against Naturalism often quote Charles Darwin’s 22 April 1881 letter to William Graham to imply Darwin worried that his theory of evolution committed its adherents to some sort of global skepticism. This niggling epistemic worry has, therefore, been dubbed ‘Darwin’s Doubt’. But this gets Darwin wrong. After combing through Darwin’s correspondence and autobiographical writings, the author maintains that Darwin only worried that evolution might cause us to doubt particularly abstruse metaphysical and theological beliefs, and (...)
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  108.  4
    JN. Pohn Rebble, Searching for a Mechanism. A History of Cell Bioenergetics: New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2019, 276 Pp., £55. [REVIEW]Özlem Yilmaz - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-3.
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  109.  2
    Assessing the Quality of Evidence From Epidemiological Agent-Based Models for the COVID-19 Pandemic.Martin Zach & Mariusz Maziarz - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-4.
    Agent-based models are one of the main sources of evidence for decisions regarding mitigation and suppression measures against the spread of SARS-CoV-2. These models have not been previously included in the hierarchy of evidence put forth by the evidence-based medicine movement, which prioritizes those research methods that deliver results less susceptible to the risk of confounding. We point out the need to assess the quality of evidence delivered by ABMs and ask the question of what is the risk that assumptions (...)
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