6 found
  1.  85
    Narratives, Mechanisms and Progress in Historical Science.Adrian Mitchell Currie - 2014 - Synthese 191 (6):1-21.
    Geologists, Paleontologists and other historical scientists are frequently concerned with narrative explanations targeting single cases. I show that two distinct explanatory strategies are employed in narratives, simple and complex. A simple narrative has minimal causal detail and is embedded in a regularity, whereas a complex narrative is more detailed and not embedded. The distinction is illustrated through two case studies: the ‘snowball earth’ explanation of Neoproterozoic glaciation and recent attempts to explain gigantism in Sauropods. This distinction is revelatory of historical (...)
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  2.  44
    Venomous Dinosaurs and Rear-Fanged Snakes: Homology and Homoplasy Characterized. [REVIEW]Adrian Mitchell Currie - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (3):701-727.
    I develop an account of homology and homoplasy drawing on their use in biological inference and explanation. Biologists call on homology and homoplasy to infer character states, support adaptationist explanations, identify evolutionary novelties and hypothesize phylogenetic relationships. In these contexts, the concepts must be understood phylogenetically and kept separate: as they play divergent roles, overlap between the two ought to be avoided. I use these considerations to criticize an otherwise attractive view defended by Gould, Hall, and Ramsey & Peterson. By (...)
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  3.  16
    Epistemic Engagement, Aesthetic Value & Scientific Practice.Adrian Mitchell Currie - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
  4.  72
    The Mystery of the Triceratops’s Mother: How to Be a Realist About the Species Category.Adrian Mitchell Currie - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (4):795-816.
    Can we be realists about a general category but pluralists about concepts relating to that category? I argue that paleobiological methods of delineating species are not affected by differing species concepts, and that this underwrites an argument that species concept pluralists should be species category realists. First, the criteria by which paleobiologists delineate species are ‘indifferent’ to the species category. That is, their method for identifying species applies equally to any species concept. To identify a new species, paleobiologists show that (...)
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  5.  54
    Convergence, Contingency & Morphospace: G. R. McGhee: Convergent Evolution: Limited Forms Most Beautiful. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2011.Adrian Mitchell Currie - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (4):583-593.
    George McGhee’s book “Convergent Evolution: limited forms most beautiful” provides an extensive survey of biological convergence. This paper has two main aims. First, it examines the theoretical claims McGhee makes about convergent evolution—specifically criticizing his use of a total morphospace to understand contingency and his assumption that functional constraints are non-contingent. Second, it sketches a group of important conceptual challenges facing researchers interested in convergence.
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  6.  1
    The Role of Analogy in Adaptive Explanation.Adrian Mitchell Currie - unknown
    Cases of 'convergence' could play an important role in the construction and corroboration of adaptive hypotheses. In particular, they could inform us about the evolutionary histories of novel traits. However, there is a problem of causal depth in the use of analogies. Natural Selection's affect on phenotype is constrained by phylogenetic history to a degree that we are unfounded in projecting adaptive stories from one lineage to another. I will argue for two approaches to resolve this issue. First, by constraining (...)
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