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  1. The Mind in Nature.C. B. Martin - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
    What are the most fundamental features of the world? Do minds stand outside the natural order? Is a unified picture of mental and physical reality possible? The Mind in Nature provides a staunchly realist account of the world as a unified system incorporating both the mental and the physical.
  • The Non-Identity of the Categorical and the Dispositional.David Oderberg - unknown
    1. Consider a circle. It has both a radius and a circumference. There is obviously a real distinction between the properties having a radius and having a circumference. This is not because, when confining ourselves to circles,1 having a radius can ever exist apart from having a circumference. A real distinction does not depend on that. Descartes thought that a real distinction between x and y meant that x could exist without y or vice versa, if only by the power (...)
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  • Natural Kinds: Rosy Dawn, Scholastic Twilight: Ian Hacking.Ian Hacking - 2007 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 61:203-239.
    The rosy dawn of my title refers to that optimistic time when the logical concept of a natural kind originated in Victorian England. The scholastic twilight refers to the present state of affairs. I devote more space to dawn than twilight, because one basic problem was there from the start, and by now those origins have been forgotten. Philosophers have learned many things about classification from the tradition of natural kinds. But now it is in disarray and is unlikely to (...)
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  • Causal Structuralism, Dispositional Actualism, and Counterfactual Conditionals.Antony Eagle - 2009 - In Toby Handfield (ed.), Dispositions and Causes. Oxford University Press. pp. 65--99.
    Dispositional essentialists are typically committed to two claims: that properties are individuated by their causal role (‘causal structuralism’), and that natural necessity is to be explained by appeal to these causal roles (‘dispositional actualism’). I argue that these two claims cannot be simultaneously maintained; and that the correct response is to deny dispositional actualism. Causal structuralism remains an attractive position, but doesn’t in fact provide much support for dispositional essentialism.
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  • On Linking Dispositions and Conditionals.David Manley & Ryan Wasserman - 2008 - Mind 117 (465):59-84.
    Analyses of dispositional ascriptions in terms of conditional statements famously confront the problems of finks and masks. We argue that conditional analyses of dispositions, even those tailored to avoid finks and masks, face five further problems. These are the problems of: (i) Achilles' heels, (ii) accidental closeness, (iii) comparatives, (iv) explaining context sensitivity, and (v) absent stimulus conditions. We conclude by offering a proposal that avoids all seven of these problems.
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  • I—Living Causes.John Dupré - 2013 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 87 (1):19-37.
    This paper considers the applicability of standard accounts of causation to living systems. In particular it examines critically the increasing tendency to equate causal explanation with the identification of a mechanism. A range of differences between living systems and paradigm mechanisms are identified and discussed. While in principle it might be possible to accommodate an account of mechanism to these features, the attempt to do so risks reducing the idea of a mechanism to vacuity. It is proposed that the solution (...)
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  • I—John Dupré: Living Causes.John Dupré - 2013 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 87 (1):19-37.
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  • Living Causes.John Dupré - 2013 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 87 (1):19-37.
    This paper considers the applicability of standard accounts of causation to living systems. In particular it examines critically the increasing tendency to equate causal explanation with the identification of a mechanism. A range of differences between living systems and paradigm mechanisms are identified and discussed. While in principle it might be possible to accommodate an account of mechanism to these features, the attempt to do so risks reducing the idea of a mechanism to vacuity. It is proposed that the solution (...)
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  • Can Evolutionary Biology Do Without Aristotelian Essentialism?Stephen J. Boulter - 2012 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 70:83-103.
    It is usually maintained by biologists and philosophers alike that essentialism is incompatible with evolutionary biology, and that abandoning essentialism was a precondition of progress being made in the biological sciences. These claims pose a problem for anyone familiar with both evolutionary biology and current metaphysics. Very few current scientific theories enjoy the prestige of evolutionary biology. But essentialism – long in the bad books amongst both biologists and philosophers – has been enjoying a strong resurgence of late amongst analytical (...)
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  • Biological Essentialism and the Tidal Change of Natural Kinds.John S. Wilkins - 2013 - Science & Education 22 (2):221-240.
    The vision of natural kinds that is most common in the modern philosophy of biology, particularly with respect to the question whether species and other taxa are natural kinds, is based on a revision of the notion by Mill in A System of Logic. However, there was another conception that Whewell had previously captured well, which taxonomists have always employed, of kinds as being types that need not have necessary and sufficient characters and properties, or essences. These competing views employ (...)
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  • Causation as Influence.David K. Lewis - 2000 - Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):182-197.
  • Species: New Interdisciplinary Essays.Robert A. Wilson - 1999 - MIT Press.
    This collection of original essays--by philosophers of biology, biologists, and cognitive scientists--provides a wide range of perspectives on species. Including contributions from David Hull, John Dupre, David Nanney, Kevin de Queiroz, and Kim Sterelny, amongst others, this book has become especially well-known for the three essays it contains on the homeostatic property cluster view of natural kinds, papers by Richard Boyd, Paul Griffiths, and Robert A. Wilson.
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  • Multi‐Track Dispositions.Barbara Vetter - 2013 - Philosophical Quarterly 63 (251):330-352.
    It is a familiar point that many ordinary dispositions are multi-track, that is, not fully and adequately characterisable by a single conditional. In this paper, I argue that both the extent and the implications of this point have been severely underestimated. First, I provide new arguments to show that every disposition whose stimulus condition is a determinable quantity must be infinitely multi-track. Secondly, I argue that this result should incline us to move away from the standard assumption that dispositions are (...)
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  • The Truthmaking Argument Against Dispositionalism.Christopher J. Austin - 2015 - Ratio 28 (3):271-285.
    According to dispositionalism, de re modality is grounded in the intrinsic natures of dispositional properties. Those properties are able to serve as the ground of de re modal truths, it is said, because they bear a special relation to counterfactual conditionals, one of truthmaking. However, because dispositionalism purports to ground de re modality only on the intrinsic natures of dispositional properties, it had better be the case that they do not play that truthmaking role merely in virtue of their being (...)
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  • The Dispositional Genome: Primus Inter Pares.Christopher J. Austin - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (2):227-246.
    According to the proponents of Developmental Systems Theory and the Causal Parity Thesis, the privileging of the genome as “first among equals” with respect to the development of phenotypic traits is more a reflection of our own heuristic prejudice than of ontology - the underlying causal structures responsible for that specified development no more single out the genome as primary than they do other broadly “environmental” factors. Parting with the methodology of the popular responses to the Thesis, this paper offers (...)
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  • When Traditional Essentialism Fails.Robert A. Wilson, Matthew J. Barker & Ingo Brigandt - 2007 - Philosophical Topics 35 (1-2):189-215.
    Essentialism is widely regarded as a mistaken view of biological kinds, such as species. After recounting why (sections 2-3), we provide a brief survey of the chief responses to the “death of essentialism” in the philosophy of biology (section 4). We then develop one of these responses, the claim that biological kinds are homeostatic property clusters (sections 5-6) illustrating this view with several novel examples (section 7). Although this view was first expressed 20 years ago, and has received recent discussion (...)
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  • Evolutionary Essentialism.Denis Walsh - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (2):425-448.
    According to Aristotelian essentialism, the nature of an organism is constituted of a particular goal-directed disposition to produce an organism typical of its kind. This paper argues—against the prevailing orthodoxy—that essentialism of this sort is indispensable to evolutionary biology. The most powerful anti-essentialist arguments purport to show that the natures of organisms play no explanatory role in modern synthesis biology. I argue that recent evolutionary developmental biology provides compelling evidence to the contrary. Developmental biology shows that one must appeal to (...)
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  • What is Innateness?Paul E. Griffiths - 2001 - The Monist 85 (1):70-85.
    In behavioral ecology some authors regard the innateness concept as irretrievably confused whilst others take it to refer to adaptations. In cognitive psychology, however, whether traits are 'innate' is regarded as a significant question and is often the subject of heated debate. Several philosophers have tried to define innateness with the intention of making sense of its use in cognitive psychology. In contrast, I argue that the concept is irretrievably confused. The vernacular innateness concept represents a key aspect of 'folkbiology', (...)
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  • Aristotle’s Philosophy of Biology: Studies in the Origins of Life Science.James G. Lennox - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
    In addition to being one of the world's most influential philosophers, Aristotle can also be credited with the creation of both the science of biology and the philosophy of biology. He was the first thinker to treat the investigations of the living world as a distinct inquiry with its own special concepts and principles. This book focuses on a seminal event in the history of biology - Aristotle's delineation of a special branch of theoretical knowledge devoted to the systematic investigation (...)
     
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  • Biological Essentialism and the Tidal Change of Natural Kinds.John S. Wilkins - 2013 - Science & Education 22 (2):221-240.
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  • Making Things Happen: A Theory of Causal Explanation.James Woodward - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
    Woodward's long awaited book is an attempt to construct a comprehensive account of causation explanation that applies to a wide variety of causal and explanatory claims in different areas of science and everyday life. The book engages some of the relevant literature from other disciplines, as Woodward weaves together examples, counterexamples, criticisms, defenses, objections, and replies into a convincing defense of the core of his theory, which is that we can analyze causation by appeal to the notion of manipulation.
  • The Powerlessness of Necessity.Markus Schrenk - 2010 - Noûs 44 (4):725-739.
    This paper concerns anti-Humean intuitions about connections in nature. It argues for the existence of a de re link that is not necessity.Some anti-Humeans tacitly assume that metaphysical necessity can be used for all sorts of anti-Humean desires. Metaphysical necessity is thought to stick together whatever would be loose and separate in a Hume world, as if it were a kind of universal superglue.I argue that this is not feasible. Metaphysical necessity might connect synchronically co-existent properties—kinds and their essential features, (...)
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  • Darwinian Metaphysics: Species and the Question of Essentialism.Samir Okasha - 2002 - Synthese 131 (2):191-213.
    Biologists and philosophers of biology typically regard essentialism about speciesas incompatible with modern Darwinian theory. Analytic metaphysicians such asKripke, Putnam and Wiggins, on the other hand, believe that their essentialist thesesare applicable to biological kinds. I explore this tension. I show that standard anti-essentialist considerations only show that species do not have intrinsic essential properties. I argue that while Putnam and Kripke do make assumptions that contradict received biological opinion, their model of natural kinds, suitably modified, is partially applicable to (...)
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  • Powerful Qualities, Not Pure Powers.Jonathan D. Jacobs - 2011 - The Monist 94 (1):81-102.
    I explore two accounts of properties within a dispositional essentialist (or causal powers) framework, the pure powers view and the powerful qualities view. I first attempt to clarify precisely what the pure powers view is, and then raise objections to it. I then present the powerful qualities view and, in order to avoid a common misconception, offer a restatement of it that I shall call the truthmaker view. I end by briefly defending the truthmaker view against objections.
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  • Hox and Wings.Jean Deutsch - 2005 - Bioessays 27 (7):673-675.
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  • Evolution in Biological and Non-Biological Systems: The Origins of Life.Isaac Salazar-Ciudad - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (1):26-37.
    A replicator is simply something that makes copies of itself. There are hypothetical replicators (e.g., self-catalyzing chemical cycles) that are suspected to be unable to exhibit heritable variation. Variation in any of their constituent molecules would not lead them to produce offspring with those new variant molecules. Copying, such as in DNA replication or in xerox machines, allows any sequence to be remade and then sequence variations to be inherited. This distinction has been used against non-RNA-world hypotheses: without RNA replication (...)
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  • The Causality Horizon and the Developmental Bases of Morphological Evolution.Jukka Jernvall - 2013 - Biological Theory 8 (3):286-292.
    With the advent of evolutionary developmental research, or EvoDevo, there is hope of discovering the roles that the genetic bases of development play in morphological evolution. Studies in EvoDevo span several levels of organismal organization. Low-level studies identify the ultimate genetic changes responsible for morphological variation and diversity. High-level studies of development focus on how genetic differences affect the dynamics of gene networks and epigenetic interactions to modify morphology. Whereas an increasing number of studies link independent acquisition of homoplastic or (...)
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  • The Idea of Teleology.Ernst Mayr - 1992 - Journal of the History of Ideas 53 (1):117-135.
  • Evolution, Population Thinking, and Essentialism.Elliott Sober - 1980 - Philosophy of Science 47 (3):350-383.
    Ernst Mayr has argued that Darwinian theory discredited essentialist modes of thought and replaced them with what he has called "population thinking". In this paper, I characterize essentialism as embodying a certain conception of how variation in nature is to be explained, and show how this conception was undermined by evolutionary theory. The Darwinian doctrine of evolutionary gradualism makes it impossible to say exactly where one species ends and another begins; such line-drawing problems are often taken to be the decisive (...)
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  • The Molecular and Mathematical Basis of Waddington's Epigenetic Landscape: A Framework for Post‐Darwinian Biology?Sui Huang - 2012 - Bioessays 34 (2):149-157.
  • What is a Disposition?Troy Cross - 2005 - Synthese 144 (3):321-41.
    Attempts to capture the distinction between categorical and dispositional states in terms of more primitive modal notions – subjunctive conditionals, causal roles, or combinatorial principles – are bound to fail. Such failure is ensured by a deep symmetry in the ways dispositional and categorical states alike carry modal import. But the categorical/dispositional distinction should not be abandoned; it underpins important metaphysical disputes. Rather, it should be taken as a primitive, after which the doomed attempts at reductive explanation can be transformed (...)
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  • Mechanism and Purpose: A Case for Natural Teleology.Denis Walsh - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (1):173-181.
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  • Causation in Biology: Stability, Specificity, and the Choice of Levels of Explanation.James Woodward - 2010 - Biology and Philosophy 25 (3):287-318.
    This paper attempts to elucidate three characteristics of causal relationships that are important in biological contexts. Stability has to do with whether a causal relationship continues to hold under changes in background conditions. Proportionality has to do with whether changes in the state of the cause “line up” in the right way with changes in the state of the effect and with whether the cause and effect are characterized in a way that contains irrelevant detail. Specificity is connected both to (...)
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  • Goal-Directed Processes in Biology.Ernest Nagel - 1977 - Journal of Philosophy 74 (5):261-279.
  • Varieties of Modules: Kinds, Levels, Origins, and Behaviors.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2001 - Journal of Experimental Zoology 291:116-129.
    This article began as a review of a conference, organized by Gerhard Schlosser, entitled “Modularity in Development and Evolution.” The conference was held at, and sponsored by, the Hanse Wissenschaftskolleg in Delmenhorst, Germany in May, 2000. The article subsequently metamorphosed into a literature and concept review as well as an analysis of the differences in current perspectives on modularity. Consequently, I refer to general aspects of the conference but do not review particular presentations. I divide modules into three kinds: structural, (...)
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  • Phenotypic Plasticity: Beyond Nature and Nurture.Massimo Pigliucci - 2001 - Johns Hopkins University Press.
    Phenotypic plasticity integrates the insights of ecological genetics, developmental biology, and evolutionary theory. Plasticity research asks foundational questions about how living organisms are capable of variation in their genetic makeup and in their responses to environmental factors. For instance, how do novel adaptive phenotypes originate? How do organisms detect and respond to stressful environments? What is the balance between genetic or natural constraints (such as gravity) and natural selection? The author begins by defining phenotypic plasticity and detailing its history, including (...)
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  • Causal Powers and Categorical Properties.Brian Ellis - 2009 - In Anna Marmodoro (ed.), The Metaphysics of Powers: Their Grounding and Their Manifestations. Routledge.
    The aim of this paper is to argue that there are categorical properties as well as causal powers, and that the world would not exist as we know it without them. For categorical properties are needed to define the powers—to locate them, and to specify their laws of action. These categorical properties, I shall argue, are not dispositional. For their identities do not depend on what they dispose their bearers to do. They are, as Alexander Bird would say, ’quiddities’. But (...)
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  • Philosophical Issues in Aristotle's Biology.Allan Gotthelf & James G. Lennox (eds.) - 1987 - Cambridge University Press.
    Aristotle's biological works - constituting over 25% of his surviving corpus and for centuries largely unstudied by philosophically oriented scholars - have been the subject of an increasing amount of attention of late. This collection brings together some of the best work that has been done in this area, with the aim of exhibiting the contribution that close study of these treatises can make to the understanding of Aristotle's philosophy. The book is divided into four parts, each with an introduction (...)
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  • The Changing Role of the Embryo in Evolutionary Thought: Roots of Evo-Devo.Ron Amundson - 2005 - Cambridge University Press.
    In this book Ron Amundson examines two hundred years of scientific views on the evolution-development relationship from the perspective of evolutionary developmental biology. This perspective challenges several popular views about the history of evolutionary thought by claiming that many earlier authors had made history come out right for the Evolutionary Synthesis. The book starts with a revised history of nineteenth-century evolutionary thought. It then investigates how development became irrelevant with the Evolutionary Synthesis. It concludes with an examination of the contrasts (...)
     
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  • The Mind in Nature. [REVIEW]C. Martin - 2009 - Analysis 69 (2):386-388.
    The Mind in Nature has two central aims. First, that of defending a ‘basic ontology’. Second, having advanced a plausible ontological framework, to appeal to it to cast light on the status of intentionality and the nature of consciousness, paying particular attention to the question of what distinguishes conscious systems from those that are vegetative.Central to Martin's basic ontology is his acceptance of a realist conception of dispositionality. Contrary to the view of David Lewis and others, talk about a thing's (...)
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  • Making Things Happen. A Theory of Causal Explanation.James Woodward - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):233-249.
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  • On the Plurality of Species: Questioning the Party Line.David L. Hull - 1999 - In R. Wilson (ed.), Species: New Interdisciplinary Essays. MIT Press. pp. 23-48.
  • Homeostasis, Species, and Higher Taxa.Richard Boyd - 1999 - In R. A. Wilson (ed.), Species: New Interdisciplinary Essays. MIT Press. pp. 141-85.
  • Getting Causes From Powers.Stephen Mumford & Rani Lill Anjum - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
    Causation is everywhere in the world: it features in every science and technology. But how much do we understand it? Mumford and Anjum develop a new theory of causation based on an ontology of real powers or dispositions. They provide the first detailed outline of a thoroughly dispositional approach, and explore its surprising features.
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  • Biological Species Are Natural Kinds.Crawford L. Elder - 2008 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 46 (3):339-362.
    This paper argues that typical biological species are natural kinds, on a familiar realist understanding of natural kinds—classes of individuals across which certain properties cluster together, in virtue of the causal workings of the world. But the clustering is far from exceptionless. Virtually no properties, or property-combinations, characterize every last member of a typical species—unless they can also appear outside the species. This motivates some to hold that what ties together the members of a species is the ability to interbreed, (...)
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  • Modularity. Understanding the Development and Evolution of Natural Complex Systems.Werner Callebaut & Diego Rasskin-Gutman (eds.) - 2005 - MIT Press.
    This collection broadens the scientific discussion of modularity by bringing together experts from a variety of disciplines, including artificial life, ...
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  • Resurrecting Biological Essentialism.Michael Devitt - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (3):344-382.
    The article defends the doctrine that Linnaean taxa, including species, have essences that are, at least partly, underlying intrinsic, mostly genetic, properties. The consensus among philosophers of biology is that such essentialism is deeply wrong, indeed incompatible with Darwinism. I argue that biological generalizations about the morphology, physiology, and behavior of species require structural explanations that must advert to these essential properties. The objection that, according to current “species concepts,” species are relational is rejected. These concepts are primarily concerned with (...)
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  • On Multiple Realization and the Special Sciences.Alex Rosenberg - 2001 - Journal of Philosophy 98 (7):365.
  • The Character Concept in Evolutionary Biology.G. P. Wagner (ed.) - 2001 - Academic Press.
    " Because characters and the conception of characters are central to all studies of evolution, and because evolution is the central organizing principle of biology, this book will appeal to a wide cross-section of biologists.
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  • Pattern and Process in Evo-Devo: Descriptions and Explanations.Laura Nuño de la Rosa & Arantza Etxeberria - unknown
    In the evolutionary biology of the Modern Synthesis the study of patterns refers to how to identify and systematise order in lineages, looking for hierarchies or for branching/splitting events in the tree of life, whereas the resulting order is supposed to be due to underlying processes or mechanisms. But patterns and processes play distinct roles in evo-devo: four different views on the role of patterns and processes in descriptions and explanations of development and evolution: A) transformational; B) generative; C) processual; (...)
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